ATP hydrolizes to ADP and phosphate in a strongly exergonic reaction and is used for energy transfer and short-term storage in cells.
ATP is stable inside a cell, so a significant activation energy must be necessary for the reaction.
However, the English Wikipedia article implies that stability of ATP is not a given, but depends strongly on the properties of the surrouding solution:
- "ATP is highly soluble in water and is quite stable in solutions between pH 6.8 and 7.4, but is rapidly hydrolysed at extreme pH." and
- "ATP is an unstable molecule in unbuffered water, in which it hydrolyses to ADP and phosphate."
How does the pH affect the hydrolysis of ATP? Why is it even relevant if the solution is buffered or not? (Do the ions stabilize the molecule somehow?) Are there other effects that influence stability in animal cells?