Phosphocreatine, also known as creatine phosphate (CP) or PCr (Pcr), is a phosphorylated creatine molecule that serves as a rapidly mobilizable reserve of high-energy phosphates in skeletal muscle and the brain.
Phosphocreatine can anaerobically donate a phosphate group to ADP to form ATP during the first two to seven seconds following an intense muscular or neuronal effort. Conversely, excess ATP can be used during a period of low effort to convert creatine to phosphocreatine. The reversible phosphorylation of creatine (i.e., both the forward and backward reaction) is catalyzed by several creatine kinases. The presence of creatine kinase (CK-MB, MB for muscle/brain) in blood plasma is indicative of tissue damage and is used in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction
The cell’s ability to generate phosphocreatine from excess ATP during rest, as well as its use of phosphocreatine for quick regeneration of ATP during intense activity, provides a spatial and temporal buffer of ATP concentration. In other words, phosphocreatine acts as high-energy reserve in a coupled reaction; the energy given off from donating the phosphate group is used to regenerate the other compound - in this case, ATP. Phosphocreatine plays a particularly important role in tissues that have high, fluctuating energy demands such as muscle and brain.