Water as a Reactant

Water is not just the solvent in which the chemical reactions of living cells occur; it is very often a direct participant in those reactions. The formation of ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate is an example of a condensation reaction in which the elements of water are eliminated (Fig. 2-22a). The reverse of this reaction— cleavage accompanied by the addition of the elements of water—is a hydrolysis reaction. Hydrolysis reactions are also responsible for the enzymatic depolymer-ization of proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. Hydrolysis reactions, catalyzed by enzymes called

FIGURE 2-22 Participation of water in biological reactions. (a) ATP

is a phosphoanhydride formed by a condensation reaction (loss of the elements of water) between ADP and phosphate. R represents adenosine monophosphate (AMP). This condensation reaction requires energy. The hydrolysis of (addition of the elements of water to) ATP to form ADP and phosphate releases an equivalent amount of energy. Also shown are some other condensation and hydrolysis reactions common in biological systems (b), (c), (d).

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