purine

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purine, type of organic base found in the nucleotides and nucleic acids of plant and animal tissue. The German chemist Emil Fischer did much of the basic work on purines and introduced the term into the chemical literature in the early 20th cent. The two major purines of almost universal distribution in living systems are adenine and guanine.

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purine A basic nitrogenous compound that resembles a 6-membered pyrimidine ring fused to a 5-membered imidazole ring. The 2 principal purines, adenine and guanine, are major constituents of nucleic acids.

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purine An organic nitrogenous base (see formula), sparingly soluble in water, that gives rise to a group of biologically important derivatives, notably adenine and guanine, which occur in nucleotides and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).

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purine A basic, nitrogenous compound that resembles a six-membered pyrimidine ring fused to a five-membered imidazole ring. The two principal purines, adenine and guanine, are major constituents of nucleic acids.

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purine A nitrogen base composed of two adjoining ring structures, one of which has five members and the other six. The purine bases in the nucleotides of nucleic acids are adenine and guanine.

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purine (pewr-reen) n. a nitrogenous compound with a two-ring molecular structure. Examples of purines are adenine and guanine, which occur in nucleic acids, and uric acid.