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Differences Between Purines And Pyrimidines

Purines vs Pyrimidines

In microbiology, there are two types of nitrogenous bases that make up the two different kinds of nucleotide bases in DNA and RNA. These two types are called purines and pyrimidines. The purines are made up of two-carbon nitrogen ring bases with four nitrogen atoms while the pyrimidines are made up of one-carbon nitrogen ring bases with two nitrogen atoms. These two compounds serve as building blocks for a wide variety of organic compounds that can be found in nature and in our bodies. Both purines and pyrimidines share the same function; they both involve the production of RNA and DNA, proteins and starches, enzyme regulation, and cell signaling. Both bases are sources of energy. The process in which these two compounds form hydrogen is called base pairing.  

Purines and Pyrimidines

A purine is known for being a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound. It is made up of a pyrimidine ring that is fused to an imidazole ring. It makes up two of the four nucleobases in DNA and RNA which are adenine and guanine. It can be created artificially through a Traube purine synthesis. In 1994, this compound was coined by a German chemist Emil Fischer. It is said that purines are biologically synthesized as nucleosides. They are found in high concentrations in meat products, especially inside livers and kidneys. Examples of purines are sweetbreads, anchovies, mackerel, scallops, beer from the yeast, and gravy.

On the other hand, similar to the purine, a pyrimidine is an aromatic heterocyclic organic compound, but it is made up of only one carbon ring. It makes up for the other bases in DNA and RNA which are cytosine and thymine in DNA, and cytosine and uracil in RNA. Its rings are also components of several larger compounds, like thiamine and some synthetic barbiturates. It can be prepared in a lab using organic synthesis, also through the Biginelli reaction. As compared to purines, pyrimidines are a lot smaller in size. The whole study of pyrimidines began in 1884 by Pinner – he synthesized derivatives by condensing ethyl acetoacetate with aminidines. He coined the word “pyrimidine” in 1900. Pyrimidines can be found in meteorites, however, scientists do not know where it started. Also, it photolytically decomposes into uracil under UV lights.

Differences

One of the differences that they carry is that purines have higher melting and boiling points as compared to pyrimidines. The molecules of purines are complex and heavy – they participate with a greater number of molecular reactions than pyrimidines. Purines also act as precursor molecules – precursor molecules are molecules that are usually synthesized in an immature form and need processing before they are active. On the other hand, pyrimidines do not function as precursor molecules.

Ultimately, aside from the fact that purines have two-carbon nitrogen rings and that pyrimidines only have one-carbon rings, their main difference is that in a purine catabolism, the main breakdown ends in uric acid, while in a pyrimidine catabolism, the main breakdown ends in ammonia, carbon dioxide, and beta-amino acids.  

Summary:

  1. A purine is known for being a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound. It is made up of a pyrimidine ring that is fused to an imidazole ring. It makes up two of the four nucleobases in DNA and RNA which are adenine and guanine. It can be created artificially through a Traube purine synthesis.

  2. On the other hand, similar to the pyridine, a pyrimidine is an aromatic heterocyclic organic compound, but it is made up of only one carbon ring. It makes up the other bases in DNA and RNA which are cytosine and thymine in DNA, and cytosine and uracil in RNA. Its rings are also components of several larger compounds, like thiamine and some synthetic barbiturates.


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