Any of a class of heterocyclic compounds with a two-ring structure composed of carbon and nitrogen atoms. The simplest member, purine itself (CHN), is not common, but its derivatives with the structure are. Examples are uric acid, caffeine, and two of the nucleotides in nucleic acids, guanine and adenine.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.For the full entry on purine, visit Britannica.com.
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