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12.31: Phosphorus Functions

Phosphorus has a number of functions in the body1.

Phosphate is a component of hydroxyapatite in bones and teeth, as described earlier.

Non-bone functions include:

Phosphorylation

Phosphates are used to activate and deactivate a number of proteins. In addition, compounds are also frequently phosphorylated, like the monosaccharides shown below.


Figure 12.311 Uptake of monosaccharides into the hepatocyte

Phospholipids

Phosphates are a component of phospholipids, as shown below.

 

Figure 12.312 Structure of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin)2

 

DNA/RNA

DNA/RNA have a phosphate backbone as shown below.

Figure 12.313 Structure of DNA3

 

ATP

The major energy currency, ATP, stores energy in its phosphate bonds.

 

Figure 12.314 Structure of ATP4

Secondary Messengers

The intracellular secondary messengers' cyclic AMP (cAMP) and inositol triphosphate (IP3) both contain phosphate. The action of these secondary messengers can be seen in the links below.

Web Links

cAMP

IP3

Other functions of phosphate include:

Acid/Base Balance

Intracellular Anion

References & Links

1. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. (2008) Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

2. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...pc_details.svg

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DN..._structure.svg

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ATP_structure.svg