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ATP in Use
This animation shows two examples of how the cell uses energy from ATP. It is the sixth of six animations about cellular respiration. These animations bring to life the molecular engines inside mitochondria that generate ATP, the main source of chemically stored energy used throughout the body.
When ATP is converted into ADP through ATP hydrolysis, it releases energy used by cellular processes. This energy can power calcium ion pumps, which create the chemical gradients necessary for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, gene regulation, and cell death. Another ATP-powered enzyme, DNA helicase, uses the energy from ATP hydrolysis to mechanically separate DNA strands for replication.
The animation is appropriate for teaching advanced high school or college-level students the in-depth role of ATP hydrolysis in cellular reactions. For more general audiences, the animation can be used to highlight examples of cellular processes that require ATP. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different reactions or molecules.
All six cellular respiration animations are also available in a YouTube playlist.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
active transport, calcium ion pump, cellular respiration, chemical reaction, DNA helicase, energy, enzyme, hydrolysis, metabolism, mitochondria
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No rights are granted to use HHMI’s or BioInteractive’s names or logos independent from this Resource or in any derivative works.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
AP Biology (2019)
IB Biology (2016)
Vision and Change (2009)