Adenosine monophosphate is a nucleotide that can be part of the energy carrier adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As a cyclic adenosine monophosphate, it also performs the function of a second messenger. It is caused, among other things, by the cleavage of ATP, which releases energy.

What is adenosine monophosphate?

Adenosine monophosphate (C10H14N5O7P) is a nucleotide and belongs to the purine ribotides. Purine is a building material in the human body, which also occurs in all other living things. The molecule forms a double ring and never occurs alone: ​​purine is always connected to other molecules in larger units.

Purine forms a building block of adenine. This base also occurs in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and encodes genetically stored information. Besides adenine, guanine belongs to the purine bases. The adenine in adenosine monophosphate is linked to two other building blocks: ribose and phosphoric acid. Ribose is a sugar with the molecular formula C5H10O5. Biology also calls the molecule pentose because it consists of a five-membered ring. Phosphoric acid binds to the fifth carbon atom of ribose in adenosine monophosphate. Other names for adenosine monophosphate are adenylate and adenylic acid.

Function, effect & tasks

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) supports the transmission of hormonal signals. For example, a steroid hormone docks to a receptor external to the membrane of the cell. The receptor is sort of the first recipient of the cell. The hormone and the receptor match each other like keys and locks, triggering a biochemical reaction in the cell.

In this case, the hormone is therefore the first messenger that activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase. This biocatalyst now cleaves ATP in the cell, creating cAMP. In turn, cAMP activates another enzyme that triggers the cell response, depending on the cell type - for example, the production of a new hormone. Adenosine monophosphate has the function of your second signal substance or a second messenger.

However, the number of molecules does not remain the same from step to step: the molecules approximately increase ten-fold per reaction step, which enhances the response of the cell. That's why hormones in very low concentrations are enough to cause a strong reaction. At the end of the reaction, only adenosine monophosphate remains of the cAMP, which can lead other enzymes back into the circulation.

When an enzyme cleaves AMP from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), it produces energy. This energy makes use of the human body in many ways. ATP is the most important source of energy within living organisms and ensures that micro-level biochemical processes can take place as well as muscle movements.

Adenosine monophosphate is also one of the building blocks of ribonucleic acid (RNA). In the cell nucleus of human cells, the genetic information is stored in the form of DNA. For the cell to work with it, it copies the DNA and creates an RNA. DNA and RNA contain the same information in the same sections, but differ in the structure of their molecules.

Education, occurrence, properties & optimal values

Adenosine monophosphate can arise from adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The enzyme adenylate cyclase cleaves the ATP, releasing energy. A particularly important role is played by the phosphoric acid of the substances. Phosphoanhydrite bonds couple the individual molecules together. The cleavage can have several possible outcomes: either enzymes cleave the ATP into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and orthophosphate or into AMP and pyrophosphate. Since the energy metabolism is essentially similar to a cycle, enzymes can also combine the individual components into ATP again.

The mitochondria are responsible for the synthesis of ATP. Mitochondria are cell organelles that function as cell power plants. They are separated by a separate membrane from the rest of the cell. Inheritance of mitochondria occurs via the mother (maternal). Adenosine monophosphate is found in all cells and can be found everywhere in the human body.

Diseases & Disorders

There are several problems associated with adenosine monophosphate. For example, the synthesis of ATP in the mitochondria may be disturbed. The medicine calls such a dysfunction also as mitochondriopathy. It can have a variety of causes, including stress, poor diet, poisoning, free radical damage, chronic inflammation, infection, and bowel disease.

Frequently, genetic defects are also responsible for the development of the syndrome. Mutations alter the genetic code and lead to various disorders in the energy metabolism or in the construction of molecules. These mutations are not necessarily located in the DNA of the nucleus; Mitochondria have their own genome that exists independently of the nuclear DNA.

In mitochondrial disease, the mitochondria only slow ATP; the cells therefore have less energy. Instead of building up complete ATP, the mitochondria synthesize more ADP than normal. The cells can also use ADP for energy, but ADP emits less energy than ATP. In mitochondriopathy, the body can use glucose as an energy source; Lactic acid is produced when it is broken down. Mitochondriopathy is not a disease of its own but is a syndrome that can be part of a disease.

The medicine summarizes under the name various manifestations of mitochondrial disorders. It can occur, for example, in the context of MELAS syndrome. It is a neurological condition that is characterized by seizures, brain damage and increased production of lactic acid. In addition, mitochondriopathy is also associated with various forms of dementia.

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