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Thymine /ˈθmɪn/ (T, Thy) is one of the four nucleobases in the nucleic acid of DNA that are represented by the letters G–C–A–T. The others are adenine, guanine, and cytosine. Thymine is also known as 5-methyluracil, a pyrimidine nucleobase. In RNA, thymine is replaced by the nucleobase uracil. Thymine was first isolated in 1893 by Albrecht Kossel and Albert Neumann from calves' thymus glands, hence its name.[1]

Thymine
Thymine skeletal.svg
Thymine-3D-balls.png
Thymine-3D-vdW.png
Names
IUPAC name
5-Methylpyrimidine-2,4(1H,3H)-dione
Other names
5-methyluracil
Identifiers
3D model (JSmol)
ChEBI
ChEMBL
ChemSpider
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.560
MeSH Thymine
UNII
Properties
C5H6N2O2
Molar mass 126.12 g·mol−1
Density 1.223 g cm−3 (calculated)
Melting point 316 to 317 °C (601 to 603 °F; 589 to 590 K)
Boiling point 335 °C (635 °F; 608 K) (decomposes)
Acidity (pKa) 9.7
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Contents

DerivationEdit

As its alternate name (5-methyluracil) suggests, thymine may be derived by methylation of uracil at the 5th carbon. In RNA, thymine is replaced with uracil in most cases. In DNA, thymine (T) binds to adenine (A) via two hydrogen bonds, thereby stabilizing the nucleic acid structures.

Thymine combined with deoxyribose creates the nucleoside deoxythymidine, which is synonymous with the term thymidine. Thymidine can be phosphorylated with up to three phosphoric acid groups, producing dTMP (deoxythymidine monophosphate), dTDP, or dTTP (for the di- and tri- phosphates, respectively).

One of the common mutations of DNA involves two adjacent thymines or cytosine, which, in presence of ultraviolet light, may form thymine dimers, causing "kinks" in the DNA molecule that inhibit normal function.

Thymine could also be a target for actions of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in cancer treatment. 5-FU can be a metabolic analog of thymine (in DNA synthesis) or uracil (in RNA synthesis). Substitution of this analog inhibits DNA synthesis in actively dividing cells.

Thymine bases are frequently oxidized to hydantoins over time after the death of an organism.[2]

Theoretical aspectsEdit

In March 2015, NASA scientists reported that, for the first time, complex DNA and RNA organic compounds of life, including uracil, cytosine and thymine, have been formed in the laboratory under outer space conditions, using starting chemicals, such as pyrimidine, found in meteorites. Pyrimidine, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the most carbon-rich chemical found in the Universe, may have been formed in red giants or in interstellar dust and gas clouds, according to the scientists.[3] Thymine has not been found in meteorites, which suggests the first strands of DNA had to look elsewhere to obtain this building block. Thymine likely formed within some meteorite parent bodies, however may not have persisted within these bodies due to an oxidation reaction with hydrogen peroxide.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Albrecht Kossel and Albert Neumann (1893) "Ueber das Thymin, ein Spaltungsproduct der Nucleïnsäure" (On thymine, a cleavage product of nucleic acid), Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin, 26 : 2753-2756. From p. 2754: "Wir bezeichnen diese Substanz als Thymin." (We designate this substance as "thymine" [because it was initially obtained from the thymus glands of calves].)
  2. ^ Hofreiter M., Serre D., Poinar H.N., Kuch M., and Paabo S. Nature Reviews Genetics (2001) 2:353.
  3. ^ Marlaire, Ruth (3 March 2015). "NASA Ames Reproduces the Building Blocks of Life in Laboratory". NASA. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  4. ^ Tasker, Elizabeth. "Did the Seeds of Life Come from Space?". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2016-11-24.

External linksEdit