Difference Between Purines and Pyrimidines (With Table)

A human body consists of several enzymes, cells, tissues, organs, processes etc. Each of these elements performs its independent function and helps in the working of the body. If all these elements are working smoothly, then the human body stays fit and healthy. The vital proteins and other minerals that are required for a human body are provided by these cells, and one of those molecules present in the human body is DNA. There are several parts and elements present in DNA. However, the nitrogen bases present in both DNA and RNA are 1. Purines and 2. Pyrimidines.

Purines vs Pyrimidines

The difference between purines and pyrimidines is the elements that are present in the respective nitrogen bases. Purines consist of nucleobases like adenine, guanine. On the other hand, pyrimidines consist of nucleobases like cytosine, thymine and uracil.

The organic compound present in the human body that participates in DNA and RNA synthesis is known as purine. It is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound that consists of nucleobases like adenine and guanine. The aromatic ring is made up of four nitrogen atoms and two hydrogen-carbon rings.

The organic compound present in the human body that participates in DNA and RNA synthesis is known as pyrimidine. They form the nitrogen base, and hence they are also addressed as building blocks. It consists of nucleobases like thymine, uracil and cytosine. It is made up of two atoms of nitrogen and one hydrogen-carbon ring. 

Comparison Table Between Purines and Pyrimidines

Parameters of ComparisonPurinesPyrimidines
Consists ofFour nitrogen atoms, two hydrogen-carbon rings, adenine and guanine. Two nitrogen atoms, one hydrogen-carbon ring, thymine, cytosine, uracil.
Melting points214 Degrees Celsius 20-22 Degrees Celsius
CatabolismUric acid is produced.Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide and beta-amino acids are produced.
ComplexitySynthesis process is complex.Synthesis process is simpler.
Major PathwaySalvageDe Novo

What is Purines?

Purine is a form of organic compound that is present in the human body. It plays an important role during the synthesis of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (Ribonucleic acid). The IUPAC name of purine is “9H-Purine”. Other than the human body, purines are also found in other organisms.

Purines are weak acids as well as weak bases. However, they are weaker bases. The term “purine” was first tossed by Emil Fischer. In the year 1884, the term was used for the first time, and the experiment of synthesis was done in the year 1898 for the first time. During the experiment, uric acid was used as a starting material.

They play an important role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, but they also play an important role in other biomolecules. These biomolecules where purines function includes ATP, coenzyme A etc. Other than that, they can also be produced by means of organic synthesis, irrespective of the fact that they can not be found naturally.

Purines play an important role in the production of proteins and starch. They provide the necessary elegy for the cells in the human body. They are also important for the signalling of the cells and the regulation of enzymes. The purines are synthesized biologically, and if they accumulate, then they are very defective to various other cell processes that take place inside human bodies.

What is Pyrimidines?

A pyrimidine is a form of organic compound that is present in the human body. They, along with purines, play an important role in DNA and RNA synthesis. The systematic IUPAC name of pyrimidine is “1,3-Diazabenzene”. There are three nucleobases present in pyrimidines, namely, thymine, uracil and cytosine.

Initially, the study of pyrimidine began in the year 1884. The derivatives were synthesised with the help of condensation of ethyl acetoacetate and amidines. One year later, in 1885, the term “pyrimidine” was tossed for the first time by Pinner. Many other scientists did a deep study of pyrimidine later on.

The distinguishing feature of cytosine, a pyrimidine base, is by having an amine group at the fourth position and a keto group at the second position. It matches with guanine in the DNA and RNA. Cytosine and guanine are paired by three hydrogen bonds. This doesn’t is further transformed into CTP or cytidine triphosphate when three phosphoric acid groups are used to phosphorylate them.

Another pyrimidine base is thymine. In the heterocyclic aromatic ring of thymine, the second and fourth position is occupied by two keto groups, the fifth position is occupied by a methyl group. In DNA and RNA, thymine matches with adenine. They are paired with two hydrogen bonds. Alike thymine, uracil too matches with adenine.

Main Differences Between Purines and Pyrimidines

  1. Purines consist of nucleobases like adenine and guanine; on the other hand, pyrimidines consist of nucleobases like thymine, uracil and cytosine.
  2. In the heterocyclic aromatic ring of purines, there are two hydrogen-carbon rings. On the other hand, in the heterocyclic aromatic ring of pyrimidines, there is one hydrogen-carbon ring.
  3. In the heterocyclic aromatic ring of purines, there are four nitrogen atoms. On the other hand, in the heterocyclic aromatic ring of pyrimidines, there are two nitrogen atoms.
  4. During catabolism in purines, uric acid is produced. On the other hand, during catabolism in pyrimidines, ammonia, beta-amino acids and carbon dioxide is produced.
  5. The major pathway in purines is salvage. On the other hand, the major pathway in pyrimidines is De Novo.
  6. The synthesis process is complex in purines. On the other hand, the synthesis process is simpler in pyrimidines.

Conclusion

Both purine and pyrimidine play an important role in the overall process of synthesis of both DNA and RNA in the human body. They also produce the necessary proteins and starch that are vital to the human body.

However, to keep these processes smooth and in good form, we must eat and stay healthy as much as possible. We must avoid doing things that are harmful to our bodies. We must make the necessary changes in our lifestyle and overall life choices to stay healthy and fit.

References

  1. https://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/50/3/413.short
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00928361
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