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purine Line breaks: pur¦ine
Pronunciation: /ˈpjʊəriːn/

Definition of purine in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
1A colourless crystalline compound with basic properties, forming uric acid on oxidation.
  • A bicyclic compound; chemical formula: C5H4N4
Example sentences
  • The major enzymological studies underway in the field of biochemistry prior to 1950 unfortunately were focused on carbon metabolism, not on amino acid, vitamin, purine, or pyrimidine biosynthesis.
  • Scientists have long known that gout develops when joints become fouled with crystals of uric acid, which is a natural digestion product of purine.
  • Conversely, the reaction of purine and pyrimidine nucleobases with alkylating and oxidizing agents generally results in site-specific cleavage.
1.1 (also purine base) [count noun] A substituted derivative of purine, especially the bases adenine and guanine present in DNA.
Example sentences
  • The purines adenine and guanine are constituents of DNA.
  • Indeed, all the genes encoding enzymes required for de novo AMP biosynthesis are repressed at the transcriptional level by the presence of extracellular purines (adenine or hypoxanthine).
  • This view was reinforced by the elucidation of Z DNA and Z RNA structures, where the syn purines are mostly guanines.


Late 19th century: from German Purin, from Latin purus 'pure' + uricum 'uric acid' + -ine4.

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