Difference between ATP and dATP

The major structural difference between ATP and dATP is that ATP has a ribonucleotide and dATP has a deoxyribonucleotide. This means that ATP’s sugar group is ribose and dATP’s sugar group is deoxyribose. dATP’s sugar group does not have a hydroxyl (OH) group at the 2′ location. ATP is the cell’s energy currency, while dATP is one of four nucleotide precursors for DNA synthesis. Below this post is all about ATP and dATP and what is the structural difference between atp and datp?

ATP and dATP can be described as two types of adenine nucleotides that are found in cells. Each consists of an adenine sugar and three phosphate group attached to the pentose sugar.

What is the structure of ATP?

ATP (adenosine Triphosphate) is a ribonucleotide that serves as the energy currency for the cell. The three components of a nucleotide are structure-wise the nitrogenous base and phosphate groups as well as a pentose glucose. ATP’s nitrogenous base is adenine. It attaches at the 1′ position to the pentose. ATP also contains three phosphoryl group attached to the pentose glucose’ 5′ position.

At pentose sugar, the first phosphate groups are the alpha and beta phosphate groups. The third or terminal phosphate is the gamma. The high-energy phosphate group gamma and beta phosphates are found here.

What is the Structure and Function of dATP?

Deoxyadenosine Triphosphate (dATP) is a deoxyribonucleotide that serves as a precursor to DNA synthesis. The three structural components of dATP behave in the same way as ATP: the adenine bases, phosphate group, and pentose sugar. The adenine bases attach to the pentose sugar at the 1′ position. The pentose sugar found in dATP is, however, deoxyribose. It doesn’t contain a 2″hydroxyl group. Only the 3rd position has a hydroxyl group. This is also found in the ribose glucose. Anyhow, let’s check below what is the structural difference between atp and datp?

What is the Structural Difference between ATP and dATP?

  1. Definition

ATP is a phosphorylated nucleotide which composes adenosine, three phosphate groups, and provides energy for many biochemical and cellular processes, particularly ADP by undergoing enzymatic Hydrolysis. Contrary to ATP, dATP is one of two purine nucleotides used in the production of DNA.

  1. Pentose Sugar

ATP is composed of a ribose and dATP is made up of a deoxyribose. This is the main structural difference that ATP and dATP have.

  1. “2” Position

The 2′ position in ATP’s ribose consists of a hydroxyl, while the deoxyribose 2′ position in dATP consists hydrogen. This is why there is a significant structural difference between ATP & dATP.

  1. Type

ATP is a ribonucleotide, while dATP a deoxyribonucleotide.

  1. Role in the Cell

ATP is the energy currency of cells, while dATP is a precursor to DNA synthesis.


ATP is a ribonucleotide whose pentose is a ribose. It therefore has a 2′-hydroxyl group in its pentose sugar. However, dATP, a deoxyribonucleotide, has a pentose sugar that is a hydroxyl-free deoxyribose. The main structural difference between ATP, dATP, and ATP is the presence or absence of a 2’ hydroxyl group within the pentose sugar.