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Adenine (Molecule of the Month for June 2019)

Nucleobase, DNA



Adenineis a nucleobase. It is one of the four nucleobases in the nucleic acid of DNA that are represented by the letters GCAT. The three others are guanine, cytosine and thymine. Its derivatives have 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). It also has functions in protein synthesis and as a chemical component of DNA and RNA. The shape of adenine is complementary to either thymine in DNA or uracil in RNA.

Adenine is one of the two purine nucleobases (the other being guanine) 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 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 nucleoside triphosphate, 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.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
9H-purin-6-amine

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenine

Picture of Adenine 3D model

click on the picture of  Adenine above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Adenine structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Adenine

C5 H5 N5



Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for June 2019 )

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