ImageFile1 = Guanine chemical structure.png ImageSize1 = 150px
ImageFileL2 = Guanine-3D-balls.png ImageSizeL2 = 100px
ImageFileR2 = Guanine-3D-vdW.png ImageSizeR2 = 100px
IUPACName = 2-amino-1"H"-purin-6(9"H")-one
OtherNames = 2-amino-6-hydroxypurine,
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
SMILES = NC1=Nc2 [nH] cnc2C(=O)N1
CASNo = 73-40-5
RTECS = MF8260000

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = C5H5N5O
MolarMass = 151.1261 g/mol
Appearance = White amorphous solid.
Density =
Solubility = Insoluble.
MeltingPt = 360°C (633.15 K) "deco."
BoilingPt = Sublimes.
Dipole = ? D

Section7 = Chembox Hazards
MainHazards = Irritant.
NFPA-H = 1
NFPA-F = 1
FlashPt = Non-flammable.
| Section8 = Chembox Related
OtherAnions =
OtherCations =
OtherCpds = Cytosine; Adenine; Thymine; Uracil

Guanine is one of the five main nucleobases found in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, the others being adenine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. With the formula C5H5N5O, guanine is a derivative of purine, consisting of a fused pyrimidine-imidazole ring system with conjugated double bonds. Being unsaturated, the bicyclic molecule is planar. The guanine nucleoside is called guanosine.

Basic principles

Guanine, along with adenine and cytosine, is present in both DNA and RNA, whereas thymine is usually seen only in DNA, and uracil only in RNA. Guanine has two tautomeric forms, the the major keto form (see figures) and rare enol form.It binds to cytosine through three hydrogen bonds. In cytosine, the amino group acts as the hydrogen donor and the C-2 carbonyl and the N-3 amine as the hydrogen-bond acceptors. Guanine has a group at C-6 that acts as the hydrogen acceptor, while the group at N-1 and the amino group at C-2 acts as the hydrogen donors.

The first isolation of guanine was reported in 1844 from the excreta of sea birds, [cite journal | last = Hitchings | first = George H. | coauthors = Elvira A. Falco | title = The Identification of Guanine in Extracts of Girella Nigricans | journal = Proc Natl Acad Sci | volume = 30 | issue = 10 | pages = 294–297 | publisher = | date = 1944-10-15 | url = | doi = | id = | accessdate = 2007-10-18 ] known as guano, which was used as a source of fertilizer. About fifty years later, Fischer determined the structure and also showed that uric acid can be converted to guanine.Guanine can be hydrolyzed with strong acid to glycine, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Guanine is first deaminated to Xanthine [cite journal |last=Angstadt | title=Purines and pyrimidines" | url=|accessdate=2008-03-27] Guanine oxidizes more readily than adenine, the other purine-derivative base in DNA. Its high melting point of 350°C reflects the intermolecular hydrogen bonding between the oxo and amino groups in the molecules in the crystal. Because of this intermolecular bonding, guanine is relatively insoluble in water, but it is soluble in dilute acids and bases. Guanine sounds like guam, a very common weed found in Runescape for low level herbalists. ~mclooter


Trace amounts of guanine form by the polymerization of ammonium cyanide (NH4CN). Two experiments conducted by Levy et al. showed that heating 10 mol·L−1 NH4CN at 80 °C for 24 hours gave a yield of 0.0007%, while using 0.1 mol·L−1 NH4CN frozen at -20 °C for 25 years gave a 0.0035% yield. These results indicate guanine could arise in frozen regions of the primitive earth. In 1984, Yuasa reported a 0.00017% yield of guanine after the electrical discharge of NH3, CH4, C2H6, and 50 mL of water, followed by a subsequent acid hydrolysis. However, it is unknown whether the presence of guanine was not simply a resultant contaminant of the reaction. [cite journal | last = Levy | first = Matthew | coauthors = Stanley L. Miller, John Oró| title = Production of Guanine from NH4CN Polymerizations | journal = Journal of Molecular Evolution | volume = 49 | issue = 2 | pages = 165–168 | publisher = | date = August 1999 | url = | doi = 10.1007/PL00006539 | id = | accessdate = - quotes the Yuasa paper and cites the possibility of there being a contaminant in the reaction.]

:5NH3 + CH4 + 2C2H6 + H2O → C5H8N5O (guanine) + (25/2)H2

A Fischer-Tropsch synthesis can also be used to form guanine, along with adenine, uracil, and thymine. Heating an equimolar gas mixture of CO, H2, and NH3 to 700 °C for 15 to 24 minutes, followed by quick cooling and then sustainted reheating to 100 to 200 °C for 16 to 44 hours with an alumina catalyst, yielded guanine and uracil::5CO + (1/2)H2 + 5NH3 → C5H8N5O (guanine) + 4H2O

Another possible abiotic route was explored by quenching a 90% N2–10%CO–H2O gas mixture high-temperature plasma [cite journal | last = Miyakawa | first = S | coauthors = Murasawa, K., Kobayashi, K., Sawaoka, AB. title = Abiotic synthesis of guanine with high-temperature plasma | journal = Orig Life Evol Biosph. | volume = 30 | issue = 6 | pages = 557-66 | date= Dec 2000]

Traube's synthesis involves heating 2,4,5-triamino-1,6-dihydro-6-oxypyrimidine (as the sulfate) with formic acid for several hours.

Other uses

In 1656 in Paris, François Jaquin (a rosary maker) extracted from scales of some fishes the so-called pearl essence, crystalline guanine forming G-quadruplexes. In the cosmetics industry, crystalline guanine is used as an additive to various products (e.g., shampoos), where it provides a pearly iridescent effect. It is also used in metallic paints and simulated pearls and plastics. It provides shimmering luster to eye shadow and nail polish. Guanine crystals are rhombic platelets composed of multiple transparent layers, but they have a high index of refraction that partially reflects and transmits light from layer to layer, thus producing a pearly luster. It can be applied by spray, painting, or dipping. It may irritate the eyes. Its alternatives are mica, faux pearl (from ground shells) [cite journal | title= How Pearls are Made...Faux, Fake, Imitation, Simulated or Man-made | url =] , and aluminium and bronze particles.

ee also

* Guanine deaminase
* cytosine


* Horton, H.R., Moran, L.A., Ochs, R.S., Rawn, J.D., Scrimgeour, K.G. "Principles of Biochemistry." Prentice Hall (New Jersey). 3rd Edition, 2002.
* Lister, J.H. "Part II Purines." The Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds. Wiley-Interscience (New York). 1971.

External links

* [ Computational Chemistry Wiki]
* [ Good Guanine reference]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Guanine — Structure de la 1,9H guanine Général …   Wikipédia en Français

  • guanine — [ gwanin ] n. f. • 1858; de guano ♦ Biochim. Une des quatre bases azotées, constituant des acides ribonucléique et désoxyribonucléique. Dans l A. D. N. « la Guanine (G) s associe avec la Cytosine (C) » (Monod). ● guanine nom féminin (de guano)… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • guanine — guanine. См. гуанин. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • guanine — 1850, from GUANO (Cf. guano), from which the chemical first was isolated, + chemical suffix INE (Cf. ine) (2) …   Etymology dictionary

  • guanine — [gwä′nēn΄, gwä′nin] n. [< GUANO (a commercial source of the base) + INE3] a crystalline purine base, C5H5N5O, contained in the nucleic acids of all tissue: it links with cytosine in the DNA structure …   English World dictionary

  • Guanine — One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATGC. Guanine is the G . The others are adenine, cytosine, and thymine. Guanine always pairs with cytosine to form the base pair G C (guanine cytosine) in the DNA. The other base pair in the… …   Medical dictionary

  • guanine — /gwah neen/, n. Biochem. a purine base, C5H5N5O, that is a fundamental constituent of DNA and RNA, in which it forms base pairs with cytosine. Symbol: G Cf. guanosine. [GUAN(O) + INE2] * * * Organic compound of the purine family, often called a… …   Universalium

  • guanine — guaninas statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₅H₂N₄(NH₂)OH santrumpa( os) Gua atitikmenys: angl. guanine rus. гуанин ryšiai: sinonimas – 2 amino 6 purinolis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • guanine — guaninas statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Azotinė bazė ( purino darinys), įeinanti į DNR sudėtį. atitikmenys: angl. guanine rus. гуанин …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • guanine — noun Etymology: guano + ine; from its being found especially in guano Date: 1850 a purine base C5H5N5O that codes genetic information in the polynucleotide chain of DNA or RNA compare adenine, cytosine, thymine, uracil …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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