AskDefine | Define adenine

Dictionary Definition

adenine n : (biochemistry) purine base found in DNA and RNA; pairs with thymine in DNA and with uracil in RNA [syn: A]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Adenin, from sc=polytonic + -ine.


  • /ˈædɪnɪn/


  1. In the context of "biochemistry|genetics": A base, C5H5N5, found in certain glands and tissues, which pairs with thymine in DNA and uracil in RNA.


base pairing with thymine or uracil
  • Portuguese: adenina
  • Romanian: adenină


Extensive Definition

Adenine is a purine with a variety of roles in biochemistry including cellular respiration, in the form of both the energy-rich adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the cofactors nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), and protein synthesis, as a chemical component of DNA and RNA.


It forms several tautomers, compounds that can be rapidly interconverted and are often considered equivalent.


The Purine metabolism involves the formation of Adenine and Guanine. Both adenine and guanine are derived from the nucleoside inosine monophosphate (IMP), which is synthesised on a pre-existing ribose through a complex pathway using atoms from the amino acids glycine, glutamine, and aspartic acid, as well as formate ions transferred from the coenzyme tetrahydrofolate.


Adenine is one of the two purine nucleobases used in forming nucleotides of the nucleic acids. In DNA, adenine binds to thymine via two hydrogen bonds to assist in stabilizing the nucleic acid structures. In RNA, which is used in the cytoplasm for protein synthesis, adenine binds to uracil.
Adenine forms adenosine, a nucleoside, when attached to ribose, and deoxyadenosine when attached to deoxyribose. It forms adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a nucleotide, when three phosphate groups are added to adenosine. Adenosine triphosphate is used in cellular metabolism as one of the basic methods of transferring chemical energy between chemical reactions.


In older literature, adenine was sometimes called Vitamin B4. It is no longer considered a true vitamin or part of the Vitamin B complex. However, two B vitamins, niacin and riboflavin, bind with adenine to form the essential cofactors nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), respectively.
Some think that, at the origin of life on Earth, the first adenine was formed by the polymerization of five hydrogen cyanide (HCN) molecules. However, this has been criticized by some chemists.


adenine in Arabic: أدينين
adenine in Catalan: Adenina
adenine in Czech: Adenin
adenine in Danish: Adenin
adenine in German: Adenin
adenine in Estonian: Adeniin
adenine in Modern Greek (1453-): Αδενίνη
adenine in Spanish: Adenina
adenine in Esperanto: Adenino
adenine in French: Adénine
adenine in Galician: Adenina
adenine in Croatian: Adenin
adenine in Indonesian: Adenin
adenine in Italian: Adenina
adenine in Hebrew: אדנין
adenine in Lithuanian: Adeninas
adenine in Hungarian: Adenin
adenine in Malay (macrolanguage): Adenina
adenine in Dutch: Adenine
adenine in Japanese: アデニン
adenine in Norwegian: Adenin
adenine in Occitan (post 1500): Adenina
adenine in Polish: Adenina
adenine in Portuguese: Adenina
adenine in Russian: Аденин
adenine in Simple English: Adenine
adenine in Slovak: Adenín
adenine in Slovenian: Adenin
adenine in Serbian: Аденин
adenine in Serbo-Croatian: Adenin
adenine in Finnish: Adeniini
adenine in Swedish: Adenin
adenine in Vietnamese: Adenine
adenine in Turkish: Adenin
adenine in Ukrainian: Аденін
adenine in Urdu: ادینین
adenine in Chinese: 腺嘌呤
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