Abstract The interaction of vanadate with 5′-mononucleotides, ADP, ATP, and various molecules containing some of their chemical moieties was studied in aqueous solution in the pH region of 5–9 using proton, 13C, 31P, and 51V nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. All the compounds studied formed noncyclic vanadate esters through interaction of monovanadate or divanadate with the hydroxyl groups of the ribose ring. Noncyclic anhydrides were also formed with the phosphate groups of ribose 5-phosphate, the mononucleotides, ADP, ATP, phosphate, pyrophosphate, and tripolyphosphate. In particular, ADP and ATP analogs resulted from AMP (AMPV and AMPV 2) and from ADP (ADPV). Cyclic esters of trigonal bipyramidal geometry resulted from the interaction of vanadate with two ribose ring cis hydroxyl groups. AMP, CMP, and UMP formed two such complexes of 1:1 and 1:2 stoichiometries, similar to what has been observed for uridine and other nucleosides. However, 2′-deoxy- AMP does not yield this type of complexes. ADP and ATP also form similar cyclic ester complexes with vanadate, which does not chelate their pyrophosphate and tripolyphosphate moieties. Nevertheless, the separate phyrophosphate (PP) and tripolyphosphate (PPP) ligands form cyclic anhydrides of octahedral geometry with vanadate. However, their binding to vanadate is weaker than that of the ribose ring of nucleotides. Competition experiments between ethylene glycol and phosphate (P), pyrophosphate (PP), or tripolyphosphate (PPP) show that the relative strength of the interaction of these ligands with vanadate is PP > ethylene glycol > PPP > P.