Adenine is a nucleobase (a purine derivative). It is one of the four nucleobases in the nucleic acid of DNA that are represented by the letters G–C–A–T. 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.

The adjacent image shows pure adenine, as an independent molecule. When connected into DNA, a covalent bond is formed between deoxyribose sugar and the bottom left nitrogen (thereby removing the existing hydrogen atom). The remaining structure is called an adenine residue, as part of a larger molecule. Adenosine is adenine reacted with ribose, as used in RNA and ATP; deoxyadenosine is adenine attached to deoxyribose, as used to form DNA.

By using our website, you agree to the usage of cookies to help us make this website better. Hide this message More on cookies »