Letter | Published:

Electron Spin Resonance of Adenosine Triphosphate

Naturevolume 191pages6566 (1961) | Download Citation



IT has been suggested that in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the phosphate chain and the adenine are linked by the pentose, so that the two terminal phosphates touch the two nitrogen atoms at positions 6 and 7 in the adenine ring1; and that, since triphosphate compounds might be electron acceptors and adenine is a good electron donor, the adenine group might donate an electron to the triphosphate group2. I. Isenberg and A. Szent-Györgyi2 obtained an electron spin resonance signal from ATP (di-sodium salt) which they attributed to internal charge transfer between the adenine and the triphosphate. They also suggested that there was a possibility that the signal could be due to a transition metal impurity in the form of a transition metal – ATP complex. In view of the great importance of ATP in living processes, we have re-examined the electron spin resonance of this compound to decide between these possibilities.

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  1. 1

    Szent-Györgyi, A., Introduction to a Submolecular Biology (Academic Press, 1960).

  2. 2

    Isenberg, I., and Szent-Györgyi, A., Proc. U.S. Nat. Acad. Sci., 45, 1232 (1959).

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    Eden, A., and Green, H. H., Biochem. J., 34, 1202 (1940).

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    Dubois, K. P., Albaum, H. G., and Potter, V. R., J. Biol. Chem., 147, 699 (1943).

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    Cohn, M., and Townsend, J., Nature, 173, 1090 (1954).

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    • S. J. WYARD

    Present address: Biophysics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, California, U.S.A.


  1. Physics Department, London Bridge, S.E.1

    • D. B. RUSSELL
    •  & S. J. WYARD


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