Definition: classically, a group of phosphoric esters whose hydrolysis takes place with a standard free-energy change of -5 to -15 kcal/mol (or -20 to -63 kJ/mol), in contrast to -1 to -4 kcal/mol (or -4 to -17 kJ/mol) for simple phosphoric esters such as glucose 6-phosphate or a-glycerophosphates, and are thus capable of driving energy-consuming reactions in living cells or reconstituted cell-free systems; adenosine 5'-triphosphate, with respect to the ß- and ?-phosphates, is the best known and is regarded as the immediate energy source for most metabolic syntheses. Other examples include acid anhydrides, phosphoric esters of enols, phosphamic acid (R—NH—PO3H2) derivatives, acyl thioesters (of coenzyme A), sulfonium compounds (R3—S+), and aminoacyl esters of ribosyl moieties.
See Also: high-energy phosphates, under phosphate
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