Difference Between Adenine and Adenosine (With Table)

Grouping chemicals according to their properties is no secret in chemistry. It is widely practiced, and new elements or compounds with similar properties are named in a pre-determined nomenclature. This results in several chemical compounds having a similar-sounding name. Adenine and Adenosine are examples of one of such chemical compounds.

Adenine vs Adenosine

The main difference between Adenine and Adenosine is that adenine is a chemical compound that occurs as a pure Nucleobase. On the other hand, Adenosine can be described as a chemical compound that contains Adenine as its nucleobase. It is a purine nucleoside, unlike adenine.

Difference Between Adenine and Adenosine

Adenine is a chemical compound that has a purine nucleobase. This implies that the derivative of this chemical compound is also pure. It forms the base component for encountered nucleic acid, DNA, and RNA. The chemical compound Adenine is denoted by the capital letter “A” in the study of molecular chemistry.

On the other hand, Adenosine is a purine nucleoside. This implies that it has Adenine as its nucleobase. A nucleoside can be defined as a compound that contains a nucleobase and is connected to a sugar molecule through a glycosidic bond. This compound comes up naturally in the cells of human beings.

Comparison Table Between Adenine and Adenosine

Parameters of ComparisonAdenineAdenosine
Chemical formulaThe chemical formula of Adenine is C5H5N5.The chemical formula of adenosine is C10H13N5O4.
Form of purineIt has a purine nucleobase.It has a purine nucleoside.
Genetic materialIt is a component of genetic material.It is not a component of genetic material.
Molecular StructureAdenine is found in several forms. It has 6 amino groups, 5 imidazole rings, and 6 pyrimidine rings.The structure of adenosine essentially contains Adenine and is connected with a ribose sugar molecule through a glycosidic bond.
The link between the twoAdenine is the precursor to adenosine. It is independent of the presence of adenosine.Adenosine is formed only after the addition of Adenine as a nucleobase.

What is Adenine?

Adenine is a molecule with a purine nucleobase. The chemical formula of Adenine is C5H5N5, and its derivatives are also purine. This molecule was discovered in the cell of the pancreas of beef in 1985. The shape of Adenine is in the form of a nucleic acid.

Adenine forms as the base product of nucleic acid, ribonucleic acid, or RNA, and deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. These nucleic acids, RNA, and DNA, play an important role in forming the genetic material of humans. Adenine is the nitrogenous base for nucleic acid. Thus, it can be naturally found as a pure base in the cells of human beings.

Adenine is formed from six groups of amino acids and amino purines. It is available in several tautomer forms and can also be found in the DNA material of certain animals. Thus, Adenine is also referred to as 6 amino purine. Adenine can be further categorized based on the number of oxy groups.

Adenine can be prepared by hearing hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and water. This mixture must be warmed for many days to obtain the desired solution. Adenine can also be produced by irradiating a dilute hydrogen cyanide solution.

What is Adenosine?

Adenosine is described as a purine nucleoside. It contains Adenine as its nucleobase. A nucleoside molecule is a molecule that stands attached to another sugar molecule. This attachment takes place through a glycosidic bond. In Adenosine, the sugar molecule is ribose.

Adenosine is a good derivative of a crucial source of energy. This source of energy is Adenosine triphosphate. As it may be inferred from its chemical name, the Adenosine triphosphate molecule contains three phosphate molecules. This property of the chemical compound makes it important in various processes of the body. Adenosine is particularly important in physiologic body processes, in general, and cellular respiration and metabolism, in particular.

Adenosine plays a major role in the proper blood flow in the body. It helps in the smoothening of blood vessels, thereby causing them to relieve tension. This property of adenosine is of immense use in the medical sector, and adenosine plays a helpful role in switching on the signal transduction pathway. Thus, adenosine has tremendous usage in emergency medical conditions.

Main Differences Between Adenine and Adenosine

  1. The chemical formula of any chemical compound is the basic identity of any compound. The chemical formula of Adenine is C5H5N5, and the same for Adenosine is C10H13N5O4.
  2. The purine form of the compounds is another basic distinction. Adenine has a purine nucleobase, while adenosine has a purine nucleoside.
  3. Adenine is regarded as a component of the genetic material of any cell. On the other hand, adenosine is not regarded as a component of the genetic material of the human cell.
  4. Adenine is found in many forms. It consists of 6 amino groups and has a 5-member imidazole ring. This is further fused to a 6-member pyrimidine ring. The structure of Adenosine consists of adenine connected to a ribose sugar molecule through a glycosidic bond.
  5. Adenine is a precursor to adenosine. While adenine is an integral part of adenosine, adenine does not need adenine to be complete, and it is independent of the presence of adenosine.


In the field of Chemistry, the structural components are the driving factor behind the naming of chemical compounds. While adenine has the chemical formula of C5H5N5, adenosine carries the chemical formula of C10H13N5O4. Although adenine and adenosine sound similar to each other, they differ in their structure and properties.

Both Adenine and Adenosine also serve therapeutic purposes. Adenine is popularly used for the manufacture of anti-virals by pharmaceutical procedures. On the other hand, Adenosine finds its use in treating conduction defects in the heart. Adenosine is also useful in its functions as a neurotransmitter.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074552106002201
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0033062089900157
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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

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