|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||120.11 g mol−1|
214 °C, 487 K, 417 °F
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
A purine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound. It consists of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. Purines, including substituted purines and their tautomers, are the most widely occurring nitrogen-containing heterocycle in nature.
Purines and pyrimidines make up the two groups of nitrogenous bases, including the two groups of nucleotide bases. Two of the four deoxyribonucleotides and two of the four ribonucleotides, the respective building-blocks of DNA and RNA, are purines.
There are many naturally occurring purines. Two of the five bases in nucleic acids, adenine (2) and guanine (3), are purines. In DNA, these bases form hydrogen bonds with their complementary pyrimidines thymine and cytosine, respectively. This is called complementary base pairing. In RNA, the complement of adenine is uracil instead of thymine.
Aside from the crucial roles of purines (adenine and guanine) in DNA and RNA, purines are also significant components in a number of other important biomolecules, such as ATP, GTP, cyclic AMP, NADH, and coenzyme A. Purine (1) itself, has not been found in nature, but it can be produced by organic synthesis.
The word purine (pure urine) was coined by the German chemist Emil Fischer in 1884. He synthesized it for the first time in 1899. The starting material for the reaction sequence was uric acid (8), which had been isolated from kidney stones by Scheele in 1776. Uric acid (8) was reacted with PCl5 to give 2,6,8-trichloropurine (10), which was converted with HI and PH4I to give 2,6-diiodopurine (11). The product was reduced to purine (1) using zinc-dust. Purines are also much larger than pyrimidines.
Many organisms have metabolic pathways to synthesize and break down purines.
Defects in enzymes that control purine production and breakdown can severely alter a cell’s DNA sequences, which may explain why people who carry certain genetic variants of purine metabolic enzymes have a higher risk for some types of cancer.
Purines are found in high concentration in meat and meat products, especially internal organs such as liver and kidney. In general, plant-based diets are low in purines. Examples of high-purine sources include: sweetbreads, anchovies, sardines, liver, beef kidneys, brains, meat extracts (e.g., Oxo, Bovril), herring, mackerel, scallops, game meats, beer (from the yeast) and gravy.
A moderate amount of purine is also contained in beef, pork, poultry, other fish and seafood, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, lentils, dried peas, beans, oatmeal, wheat bran, wheat germ, and hawthorn.
Higher levels of meat and seafood consumption are associated with an increased risk of gout, whereas a higher level of consumption of dairy products is associated with a decreased risk. Moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables or protein is not associated with an increased risk of gout.
In August 2011, a report, based on NASA studies with meteorites found on Earth, was published suggesting purine and related organic molecules (including the DNA and RNA components, adenine and guanine) may have been formed extraterrestrially in outer space.
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