Can someone give me some references showing the average concentration of ATP in a cell?

  • $\begingroup$ The concentration of ATP depends strongly upon cell type, its current activity (for muscle, neuronal and secretorial cells). Besides, the local concentration of ATP in certain cell areas (mitochondria, near myosine heads, near membrane, in synaptic vesicles) might be orders of magnitude higher than that in other parts of cytozole. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference to an estimate of the ATP concentration in mitochondria? $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 16:21

2 Answers 2



This article covers the energy charge and ATP concentrations of an array of muscle cells from many different organisms. Since many factors come into play (amount of glucose available, rate and regulation of glycolysis and cellular respiration, use of energy in metabolism, etc.) it is expected for the ATP concentration within the cell to vary significantly. The ATP concentrations reported span from approximately 1 to 10 mM.


- Beis, I, and E A Newsholme. “The Contents of Adenine Nucleotides, Phosphagens and Some Glycolytic Intermediates in Resting Muscles from Vertebrates and Invertebrates.” Biochemical Journal 152, no. 1 (October 1975): 23–32.

  • $\begingroup$ Muscle cells generally need much more ATP than any other cell in order to to relax. The concentration in other cells (for example neurons) can differ significantly from these values. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 11:14

Alternatively: http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/search.aspx?log=y&task=searchbytrmorg&trm=atp+concentration&org=

As LanceLafontain answered, most of the numbers fall within the range of .5-10 mM

  • $\begingroup$ Both answers have 10 mM as upper limit, but why is there a discrepancy in the lower range? 1 or 5? That's quite a big difference IMO. $\endgroup$
    – shevy
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 19:55

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