Talk:Thymine

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removed from article

First, some clarification. The difference between RNA (ribonucleic acids) and DNA (deoxyribon ucleic acids) is the existence of a hydroxyl (-OH) group on the 2' carbon of the ribose sugar in the backbone. The removal of 2' hydroxyl groups from DNA does not occur after the DNA has been synthesized, but rather the 2' hydroxyl groups are removed from the nucleotides before they are incorporated into the DNA. During nucleotide synthesis, a portion of the nucleotide monophosphates (NMP's) are dehydroxylated to 2'-deoxy-nucleotide monophosphates (dNMP's). This means that GMP, AMP, CMP, and UMP are converted into dGMP, dAMP, dCMP, and dUMP, respectively. However, before being incorporated into the chromosomes, another modification, using folic acid as a catalyst, methylates the uracil in dUMP to form a thymine making it dTMP. After further phosphorylation, dGTP, dATP, dCTP, and dTTP can be used as the building blocks to construct DNA.


The important thing to notice is that while uracil exists as both uridine (U) and deoxy-uridine (dU), thymine only exists as deoxy-thymidine (dT). So the question becomes: Why do cells go to the trouble of methylating uracil to thymine before it can be used in DNA?


The answer is: methylation protects the DNA. Beside using dT instead of dU, most organisms also use various enzymes to modify DNA after it has been synthesized. Two such enzymes, dam and dcm methylate adenines and cytosines, respectively, along the entire DNA strand. This methylation makes the DNA unrecognizable to many Nucleases (enzymes which break down DNA and RNA), so that it cannot be easily attacked by invaders, like viruses or certain bacteria. Obviously, methylating the nucleotides before they are incorporated ensures that the entire strand of DNA is protected. Thymine also protects the DNA in another way. If you look at the components of nucleic acids, phosphates, sugars, and bases, you see that they are all very hydrophilic (water soluble). Obviously, adding a hydrophobic (water insoluble) methyl group to part of the DNA is going to change the characteristics of the molecule. The major effect is that the methyl group will be repelled by the rest of the DNA, moving it to a fixed position in the major groove of the helix. This solves an important problem with uracil - though it prefers adenine, depending on how it situates itself in the helix, uracil can base-pair with almost any other base, including itself. By tacking it down to a single conformation, the methyl group restricts uracil (thymine) to pairing only with adenine. This greatly improves the efficiency of DNA replication, by reducing the rate of mismatches, and thus mutations.


To sum up: the replacement of thymine for uracil in DNA protects the DNA from attack and maintains the fidelity of DNA replication.

I liked the explanation given for some of the above from this reference; http://www.scienceinschool.org/2011/issue18/uracil

it would be great to reexpress some of the ideas. it is fascinating that thymine and uracil are involved with error correction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.100.14 (talk) 21:09, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Incorrect SMILES formula[edit]

The SMILES formula for Thymine is incorrect. It does not contain the distinctive methyl group. Please revise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.206.4.163 (talk) 21:56, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Pairing in DNA[edit]

Just an extra info: Thymine (T) only pairs with Adenine (A) in DNA. Can someone please verify and include this info informatively in the article? Thanks. -Velen117 09:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Solubility[edit]

Solubility data would be useful

Page Information & Formatting Consistency[edit]

Compare to Adenine. Thymine data table does not match the format of related molecule, Adenine. Suggest making all DNA/RNA base pages similar in format for easy comparison.

Thymine dimers[edit]

I removed this sentence from the introduction

"Thymine (T) almost always pairs with adenine, although thymine dimers also occur due to UV light exposure. This mutation is responsible for melanoma formation."

to avoid confusion between UV-induced thymine dimers, which are covalent bonds between adjacent thymines in the same DNA strand, and ordinary (e.g adenine-thymine) base pairing, which are hydrogen bonds between bases in opposite strands. Fortunately, thymine dimers are discussed later in the article, in a way that does not cause this confusion. Thymine-dimer-related diseases like melanoma and xeroderma pigmentosum could be discussed there, or perhaps the existing discussion in thymine dimer article is sufficient.CharlesHBennett (talk) 16:11, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Thymine dimers[edit]

I removed this sentence from the introduction

"Thymine (T) almost always pairs with adenine, although thymine dimers also occur due to UV light exposure. This mutation is responsible for melanoma formation."

to avoid confusion between UV-induced thymine dimers, which are covalent bonds between adjacent thymines in the same DNA strand, and ordinary (e.g adenine-thymine) base pairing, which are hydrogen bonds between bases in opposite strands. Fortunately, thymine dimers are discussed later in the article, in a way that does not cause this confusion. Thymine-dimer-related diseases like melanoma and xeroderma pigmentosum could be discussed there, or perhaps the existing discussion in thymine dimer article is sufficient.CharlesHBennett (talk) 16:11, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Errors in pictures!!![edit]

Thymine has two O, one H and one CH3 attached to the ring-structure. In the picture it shows that there were two O and two H. The error should be corrected asap. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.163.18.130 (talk) 13:10, 7 November 2011 (UTC)