Difference Between Purines and Pyrimidines


Main Difference

Purines and Pyrimidines both are organic compounds that take part in the synthesis of RNA and DNA inside the body. These both are nitrogenous bases with different sort of use as they are responsible for making different kinds of nucleotides. Other than this they take part in the regulation of body enzymes, production of starch and proteins. They also work as a pathway in cell signaling and communication. Both of them are heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds, the basic difference between both of these is the arrangement of carbon atoms with nitrogen. The one with two carbon- nitrogen ring is referred as purine whereas the one with single carbon-nitrogen rings base is called pyrimidine.

Comparison Chart

AboutPurines are the heterocyclic organic compounds which have pyrimidines ring in them. The two carbon-nitrogen ring bases.Pyrimidines are also the heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds which have single carbon-nitrogen ring bases.
BasesAdenine and GuanineCytosine, Thymine, and Uracil.
Chemical StructureTwo carbon-nitrogen rings are attached to four nitrogen atoms.One carbon-nitrogen ring is attached with two nitrogen atoms.
FunctionTheir basic function is the production of DNA and RNA, starch, and some proteins too. They take part in cell signaling process and regulation of enzymes.Pyrimidines have the same functions as purines they also are important for DNA and RNA synthesis. Along with it, they help in the production of protein and starch too.
TypeHeterocyclic Aromatic Organic CompoundsHeterocyclic Aromatic Organic Compounds
Molar Mass120.11g mol-180.088g mol-1
Molecular FormulaC5H4N4C4H4N2

What is Purines?

Purines are quite familiar organic compounds to the biology and genetic students and professionals as they are one of the most components of the production of RNA and DNA. Purines possess specific kind of nucleotide bases such as Guanine and Adenine. Purines themselves are the heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds. The structure of the compounds defines their working as well. In purines, two carbon-nitrogen rings are attached to four nitrogen atoms. Regarding food, purines are found in a massive amount of the meat and all the meat products. Purines are rarely present in the vegetables and plants. Although there is some specific kind of protein-based plants with a handsome amount of purines, most of the vegetables and plants are in low in purine. Inside the human body, purines are found mostly in liver and kidneys. They perform their specific kind of functions residing beside liver and kidneys. All sort of diet which includes a lot of proteins in it possess purines. Purines are nitrogenous bases in nature that help in the production of RNA and DNA. Other than this they are also responsible for starch production and even production of protein inside the body. Moreover, the purines do participate in cell signaling phenomena. They also keep on regulating enzymes functionality inside the body.


What is Pyrimidines?

Pyrimidines are also the same kind of heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds that take part in the formation and production of DNA and RNA inside the body of an organism. Pyrimidines differ from purines by their structure and the nucleotide bases they involve. Unlike the purines, pyrimidines have a single carbon-nitrogen ring that is attached or linked with the two nitrogen atoms. The three sort of nucleotide bases that are derivatives of pyrimidines includes Uracil, Thymine, and Cytosine. Pyrimidines are found and exist widely in nature. They are present in more excess compare to the purines presence in nature. Pyrimidines along with playing a vital role in RNA and DNA production takes part in the synthesis of starch and protein as well. Like purine, it also enables the enzyme regulation and also works as a facilitator in cell signaling process.

Purines vs. Pyrimidines

  • Purines are the heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds that possess two carbon-nitrogen rings attached with four nitrogen atoms.
  • Pyrimidines are the heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds that have a single carbon-nitrogen ring attached with two nitrogen atoms.
  • Both are used for the production of DNA and RNA.
  • Adenine and Guanine are the bases present in the purines.
  • Uracil, Thymine, and Cytosine are the bases present in the pyrimidines.
  • Both are used for synthesizing the protein and starch in the body.
  • Both compounds take part in the cell signaling phenomena.
  • Purines and pyrimidines both are also responsible for enzyme regulation.

Comparison Video

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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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