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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.
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 keto form and 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,
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 0.24 to 0.4 hours, followed by quick cooling and then sustainted reheating to 100-200°C for 16-44 hours with an alumina catalyst yielded guanine and uracil:
Traube's synthesis involves heating 2,4,5-triamino-1,6-dihydro-6-oxypyrimidine (as the sulphate) with formic acid for several hours.
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 cosmetic industry, crystalline guanine is used as an additive to various products (e.g., shampoos), where it provides the pearly iridescent effect. It is also used in metallic paints and simulated pearls and plastics. It provides shimmering lustre 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 eyes. Its alternatives are mica, synthetic pearl, and aluminium and bronze particles.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Guanine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|