Adenine:The Molecule that Shapes your DNA
Just like how the alphabet starts with the letter A – your DNA also begins with pieces of molecules we know as nucleotide bases. One of these nucleotide bases is Adenine. Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Our DNA is the reason of our unique characteristics, attitudes and behaviors.
The nucleotides that make up or DNA combine together to form a double stranded DNA which undergoes replication, transcription, then finally, translation into proteins. Adenine always pair up with Thymine during DNA replication, and binds with Uracil during RNA synthesis.
How does Adenine look like in Chemistry?
Let’s Get Building!
Using your Student Molecular Set from Duluth Labs let’s create Adenine! You’ll need:
- 5 Carbon Atoms
- 5 Nitrogen Atom
- 5 Hydrogens
- 5 Small connectors (compact small bonds for hydrogen)
- 7 Medium connectors (single covalent bonds)
- 8 Long connectors
- Molecular Tool (for Disassembly)
Put aside all the atoms and connectors needed.
Let’s Start Building With Our pyrimidine ring.
We will begin with Carbon 6 (carbon at 12:00 position) and will build this part of the molecule in a clockwise direction. Let’s start!
1. First, get 1 carbon atom (Carbon 6), then attach a nitrogen atom above it using 1 medium connector. Then, attach 2 hydrogen atoms on this nitrogen atom using 2 small connectors.
2. Using 2 long connectors, attach another nitrogen atom (Nitrogen 1) to Carbon 6.
3. Attach a carbon atom (Carbon 2) below Nitrogen 1 using a medium connector.Then place 1 hydrogen atom on Carbon 2 using a small connector.
4. Attach a nitrogen atom (Nitrogen 3) to Carbon 2 using 2 long connectors.
5. Get another carbon atom (Carbon 4) and attach this to Nitrogen 3 using 1 medium connector.
6. Attach 1 carbon atom (Carbon 5) above Carbon 4 using 2 long connectors.
7. Then, using a medium connector join Carbon 5 and Carbon 6 together.
Yay! We've just built our Pyrimidine Portion!
Note: Let’s now continue building the Imidazole portion.
1. Get a nitrogen atom(Nitrogen 7) and attach thisto Carbon 5 of thepyrimidine ringusing a medium connector.
2. Attach a carbon atom (Carbon 8) to the left of Nitrogen 7 using 2 long connectors. Then place 1 hydrogen atom on Carbon 8 with a small connector.
3. Grab another nitrogen atom (Nitrogen 9) and attach this below Carbon 8 using a medium connector. Then add a hydrogen atom on Nitrogen 9 using 1 small connector.
4. Finally, using 1 medium connector, join Nitrogen 9 and Carbon 4 of the Pyrimidine Ring together.