PubChem 644102
ChemSpider 559142 YesY
DrugBank DB04160
ChEBI CHEBI:18361 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula P2O74−
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

In chemistry, the anion, the salts, and the esters of pyrophosphoric acid are called pyrophosphates. Any salt or ester containing two phosphate groups is called a diphosphate. As a food additive, diphosphates are known as E450.



Pyrophosphates were originally prepared by heating phosphates (pyro- from the Greek, meaning fire). Pyrophosphates are good complexing agents and have many uses in industrial chemistry. Pyrophosphate is the first member of an entire series of polyphosphates.

The term pyrophosphate is also the name of esters formed by the condensation of a phosphorylated biological compound with inorganic phosphate as for dimethylallyl pyrophosphate. This bond is also referred to as a high-energy phosphate bond.

The synthesis of tetraethyl pyrophosphate was first described in 1854 by Philip de Clermount at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences.

In biochemistry

Pyrophosphates are very important in biochemistry. The anion P2O74− is abbreviated PPi and is formed by the hydrolysis of ATP into AMP in cells.


For example, when a nucleotide is incorporated into a growing DNA or RNA strand by a polymerase, pyrophosphate (PPi) is released. Pyrophosphorolysis is the reverse of the polymerization reaction in which pyrophosphate reacts with the 3'-nucleotidemonophosphate (NMP or dNMP), which is removed from the oligonucleotide to release the corresponding triphosphate (dNTP from DNA, or NTP from RNA).

The pyrophosphate anion has the structure P2O74−, and is an acid anhydride of phosphate. It is unstable in aqueous solution and hydrolyzes into inorganic phosphate:

P2O74− + H2O → 2 HPO42−

or in biologists' shorthand notation:

PPi + H2O → 2 Pi

In the absence of enzymic catalysis, hydrolysis reactions of simple polyphosphates such as pyrophosphate, linear triphosphate, ADP, and ATP normally proceed extremely slowly in all but highly acidic media.[1]

(The reverse of this reaction is a method of preparing pyrophosphates by heating phosphates.)

This hydrolysis to inorganic phosphate effectively renders the cleavage of ATP to AMP and PPi irreversible, and biochemical reactions coupled to this hydrolysis are irreversible as well.

PPi occurs in synovial fluid, blood plasma, and urine at levels sufficient to block calcification and may be a natural inhibitor of hydroxyapatite formation in extracellular fluid (ECF).[2] Cells may channel intracellular PPi into ECF.[3] ANK is a nonenzymatic plasma-membrane PPi channel that supports extracellular PPi levels.[3] Defective function of the membrane PPi channel ANK is associated with low extracellular PPi and elevated intracellular PPi.[2] Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (ENPP) may function to raise extracellular PPi.[3]

From the standpoint of high energy phosphate accounting, the hydrolysis of ATP to AMP and PPi requires two high-energy phosphates, as to reconstitute AMP into ATP requires two phosphorylation reactions.

2 ADP + 2 Pi → 2 ATP

See also


  1. ^ Huebner PWA, Milburn RM (May 1980). "Hydrolysis of pyrophosphate to orthophosphate promoted by cobalt(III). Evidence for the role of polynuclear species". Inorg Chem. 19 (5): 1267–72. doi:10.1021/ic50207a032. 
  2. ^ a b Ho AM, Johnson MD, Kingsley DM (Jul 2000). "Role of the mouse ank gene in control of tissue calcification and arthritis". Science. 289 (5477): 265–70. doi:10.1126/science.289.5477.265. PMID 10894769. 
  3. ^ a b c Rutsch F, Vaingankar S, Johnson K, Goldfine I, Maddux B, Schauerte P, Kalhoff H, Sano K, Boisvert WA, Superti-Furga A, Terkeltaub R (Feb 2001). "PC-1 nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase deficiency in idiopathic infantile arterial calcification". Am J Pathol. 158 (2): 543–54. doi:10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63996-X. PMC 1850320. PMID 11159191. 

Further reading

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pyrophosphate — [ pirofɔsfat ] n. m. • 1842; de pyro et phosphate ♦ Chim. Sel de l acide pyrophosphorique. ● pyrophosphate nom masculin Sel de l acide pyrophosphorique. pyrophosphate [piʀofɔsfat] n. m. ÉTYM …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pyrophosphate — Pyr o*phos phate, n. (Chem.) A salt of pyrophosphoric acid. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pyrophosphate — [pī΄rə fäs′fāt΄] n. a salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid …   English World dictionary

  • Pyrophosphate — Anion pyrophosphate ou PPi Les pyrophosphates (appelés aussi diphosphates) sont l anion (base conjuguée), les sels et les esters de l acide pyrophosphorique. Les pyrophosphates sont constitués de deux molécules de phosphates condensées. Ils sont… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pyrophosphate — Diphosphat Anion Diphosphate (auch Pyrophosphate (PPa; engl.: PPi)) sind Salze und Ester der Diphosphorsäure H4P2O7. Diphosphate sind Kondensate von zwei Phosphaten. Sie sind über eine P–O–P Säureanhydrid Bindung miteinander verknüpft ( …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pyrophosphate — ortodifosfatas statusas T sritis chemija formulė M₄P₂O₇ atitikmenys: angl. orthodiphosphate; pyrophosphate rus. ортодифосфат; пирофосфат ryšiai: sinonimas – μ ( okso( )heptaoksodifosfatas (4–) …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • pyrophosphate — noun a salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid • Hypernyms: ↑salt * * * /puy reuh fos fayt/, n. Chem. a salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid. [1830 40; PYROPHOSPH(ORIC ACID) + ATE2] * * * pyrophosphate noun see above • • • Main Entry: ↑pyro …   Useful english dictionary

  • pyrophosphate — noun Date: 1833 a salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pyrophosphate — /puy reuh fos fayt/, n. Chem. a salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid. [1830 40; PYROPHOSPH(ORIC ACID) + ATE2] * * * …   Universalium

  • pyrophosphate — noun Any salt or ester of pyrophosphoric acid …   Wiktionary

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