Adenine

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{acid, form, water}

360–365 °C (decomposes)

Adenine (A, Ade) is a nucleobase (a purine derivative) 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.[2] The shape of adenine is complementary to either thymine in DNA or uracil in RNA.

Contents

Structure

Adenine forms several tautomers, compounds that can be rapidly interconverted and are often considered equivalent.[citation needed] However, in isolated conditions, i.e. in an inert gas matrix and in the gas phase, mainly the 9H-adenine tautomer is found.[3][4]

Biosynthesis

Purine metabolism involves the formation of adenine and guanine. Both adenine and guanine are derived from the nucleotide inosine monophosphate (IMP), which is synthesised on a pre-existing ribosome through a complex pathway using atoms from the amino acids glycine, glutamine, and aspartic acid, as well as fused with the enzyme tetrahydrofolate.

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast), the adenine pathway converts P-ribosyl-PP into adenine through a seven-step process.

Function

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 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.

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