Definition of purine in English:


Line breaks: pur¦ine
Pronunciation: /ˈpjʊəriːn


[mass noun] Chemistry
  • 1A colourless crystalline compound with basic properties, forming uric acid on oxidation.
    • A bicyclic compound; chemical formula: C5H4N4
    More 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.
    More 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.

More definitions of purine

Definition of purine in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little