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Adenine-3D-balls.pngAdenine chemical structure.png

Systematic name 6-Aminopurine
Other names Vitamin B4
Molecular formula C5H5N5
SMILES Nc1ncnc2[nH]cnc12
Molar mass Molar mass::135.127 g/mol
Appearance white to off-white crystalline powder
CAS number CAS number::73-24-5
Solubility in water slightly soluble g/100 ml
Melting point Melting point::360°C
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
Main hazards

skin contact (irritant, permeator)
eye contact (irritant), or inhalation.
Teratogenic effects suspected.

NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

R/S statement R: R22
RTECS number AU6125000

Adenine is a nucleobase; it is a chemical component of both RNA and DNA. Adenine is one of the four main bases in DNA. In DNA adenine combines with thymine, in RNA it combines with uracil. Adenine used to be called Vitamin B4, but it is not a vitamin. A vitamin is not able to be created by the body in large amounts. Vitamin B4 was able to make enough for the body to survive and this is why it is no longer considered a vitamin. [1]

Adenosine is a component of the nucleotide adenosine triphosphate, and is thus important in processes like the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, photosynthesis, and even muscle contraction. Without Adenine these simple functions would not work.[2]


Adenine is a purine, purines are six-membered rings that are attached to five-membered rings. Purines are important in medicine and biological research. [3]When Adenine attaches to DNA it forms a bond with a molecule called Thymine. In this bond DNA forms a double-helix structure.[4]

Biochemical importance

Adenosine Triphosphate
Main Article: Adenosine Triphosphate

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleotide composed of adenine and three phosphate groups. ATP serves two major functions in biochemistry. It is a building block for both RNA and DNA synthesis.[5] It is also the principal energy carrier used to supply biochemical energy for metabolic processes and muscle contraction. ATP allows energy to be released by transferring phosphate groups. The released energy is then used by the cells in living organisms.[6]

This is the structure of DNA

Adenine helps form nucleotides in DNA and RNA. Adenine bonds with thymine in DNA to help strengthen it's structure. Adenine bonds with ribose which creates a nucleoside called adenosine. After bonding with ribose to form adenosine, it can combined with certain phosphoric acid's to form three nucleotides adenosine monophosphate, adenosine diphosphate, and adenosine triphosphate. All three are have uses in cellular metabolism.[7]

Vitamin B4

Vitamins are not usually created in the body, and must be taken in with a diet.[8] Vitamins are like a catalysts that is used in energy transformation and the regulation of metabolism.[9] Adenine used to be called Vitamin B4 but it was never part of the vitamin B family. Vitamins are are not able to be produced by the human body in large enough amounts so that they can survive.[10] The human body can be produce enough Adenine so that it will survive. This is why it is no longer a member of the vitamin B Family.[11]