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Adenosine monophosphate is a universal energy intermediate within the cell. It consists of:

  • 1 molecule of adenine
  • 1 molecule of ribose
  • 1 phosphate group joined by an ester linkage

AMP is the precursor of 'high energy' phosphate compounds such as ATP. Hence, the degradation of organic molecules, usually by oxidation, yields energy which can be used directly to form:

  • ADP from AMP and inorganic phosphate
  • ATP from AMP and 2 molecules of inorganic phosphate

Alternatively, the energy liberated by catabolic reactions can form reduced compounds such as NADH and FADH2. Indirectly, these compounds can form ATP from AMP via the electron transfer chain and oxidative phosphorylation.

Adenosine monophosphate should not be confused with cyclic AMP which has a role as a cellular secondary messenger.

Last reviewed 01/2018