Why is ATP an important molecule in metabolism
Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is the primary molecule in which energy is stored within living cells and that makes it an absolutely essential nucleotide for cells to function. It functions as a coenzyme in cellular metabolism and is the basic unit/currency of chemical energy transfer in cells. The functions of the ATP molecules include exocytosis and endocytosis processes for transferring macromolecules through the cell membrane. ATP is also responsible for synthesizing of DNA and RNA as well. It must be remembered that the entire process of producing and using ATP is a constant chain of recycling chemical reactions in which the basic constituents of the ATP molecules are the end products as well.
The transfer of energy between two metabolic processes that are occurring at a distance from each other is carried on with a combination of exothermic reactions as well as endothermic reactions. The processes that create the ATP molecules are exothermic in nature while the processes in metabolism that require ATP consumption are endothermic reactions. Two very important parts of animal metabolism is respiration and locomotion; these two would be impossible if the necessary muscular contractions were not brought about by the action of the ATP molecules. As it is impossible to shorten actin and myosin filament crossbridges without Adenosine triphosphate, therefore the muscular contractions of an animal life form is totally dependent on the actions of ATP molecules in the metabolism. This is however only a secondary process which is part of the primary process in which ATP actually helps in the congregation and disassembly of the protein-based cytoskeleton.
ATP molecules serve any and every energy need of the body, be it something as simple as regular movement or as complicated as weight lifting. ATP is of course constituted from the nutrients that you consume everyday while eating and thus it is necessary to eat a properly balanced meal suited to the kind of lifestyle that you lead. ATP can also be used for other energy demanding tasks other than muscular contraction and relaxation, like hormone creation. ATP signaling is not a direct part of metabolic functions, but it affects metabolism nonetheless. The cells must either convert the nutrients to energy or store them as excess and this activity depends upon the signals that the ATP molecules send to the cells. The signals depend on the number of ATP molecules within a cell because if the number is sufficient then the ATP molecules emit a signal that causes the cells to store the nutrients for later use as excess. On the other hand, if the cells are lacking in ATP molecules, then the ATP molecules already present in the cell will signal it to start converting the available nutrients to energy.