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See also: Adenine and adénine


Structure diagram of adenine
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From German Adenin, from Ancient Greek ἀδήν (adḗn, gland). By surface analysis, aden- +‎ -ine. It was named in 1885 by the German biochemist Albrecht Kossel, in reference to the pancreas (a specific gland) from which Kossel's sample had been extracted.


  • IPA(key): /ˈæ.dəˌniːn/, /ˈæ.dɪˌnɪn/


adenine (countable and uncountable, plural adenines)

  1. (biochemistry, genetics) A base, C5H5N5, found in certain glands and tissues, which pairs with thymine in DNA and uracil in RNA.
    Hypernyms: nucleobase, purine
    Coordinate terms: cytosine, guanine, thymine, uracil
    • 2002, Nikolai L. Vekshin, Photonics of Biopolymers[1], page 115:
      One of these labels is ethenoadenine, which is obtained by chemical modification of adenine.
    • 2006, David Markie, “1: Markers, Selection, and Media in Yeast Artificial Chromosome Cloning”, in Alasdair MacKenzie, editor, YAC Protocols[2], 2nd edition, page 2:
      There are two genes in the adenine biosynthetic pathway of yeast (ADE1 and ADE2) that, apart from producing an absolute requirement for adenine when mutant, also produce a change in colony color.
    • 2010, Debjani Roy, Rogué Schleyer, “6: Chemical Origin of Life: How do Five HCN Molecules Combine to form Adenine under Prebiotic and Interstellar Conditions”, in Chérif F. Matta, editor, Quantum Biochemistry[3], page 202:
      The HCN pentamer, adenine (a constituent of DNA, RNA and many coenzymes), is one of the most abundant biochemical molecules.

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adenine f pl

  1. plural of adenina