A purine nucleoside that has adenine bound to a ribose sugar by a glycosidic bond.


Adenosine is found in all living organisms as a structural component of important biomolecules such as DNA and RNA. It is also a major molecular component of ATP, ADP, and AMP. It is thus involved in various physiologic processes such as energy transfer (e.g. as ATP) and signal transduction (i.e. as cAMP). It also acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, presumably in promoting sleep.

Its pharmacologic action includes vasodilation, anti-arrhythmia, and analgesia. When given intravenously, adenosine can cause transient heart block in the AV node.

Word origin: combination of adenine + ribose.

IUPAC name: (2R,3R,4S,5R)-2-(6-aminopurin-9-yl)-5-(hydroxymethyl)oxolane-3,4-diol
Molecular formula: C10H13N5O4

Synonym: Adenine riboside, beta-D-Adenosine.

Compare: deoxyadenosine.
See also: nucleoside.

Related terms:

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