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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) + -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.
    • 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, Alasdair MacKenzie (editor), YAC Protocols, 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, Chérif F. Matta, Quantum Biochemistry, 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