Explore
Home 
Literature 
Links 
Posts 
Molecules 
Blogs 
Zeitgeist 
Markup Help 
News 
Everything Papers Books
Hydrotropes are small molecules that solubilize hydrophobic molecules in aqueous solutions. Typically, hydrotropes are amphiphilic molecules and differ from classical surfactants in that they have low cooperativity of aggregation and work at molar concentrations. Here, we show that adenosine triphosphate (ATP) has properties of a biological hydrotrope. It can both prevent the formation of and dissolve previously formed protein aggregates. This chemical property is manifested at physiological concentrations between 5 and 10 millimolar. Therefore, in addition to being an energy source for biological reactions, for which micromolar concentrations are sufficient, we propose that millimolar concentrations of ATP may act to keep proteins soluble. This may in part explain why ATP is maintained in such high concentrations in cells.

Posts

I wrote a couple of years ago about the idea of “condensates” inside cells – liquid-like droplets of proteins and other biomolecules that associate together in high concentration. That’s an odd idea for most all of us, because we’re...