Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Uracil (Ura)

  • Shin Miyakawa
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1631-3


C4H4N2O2. M.W. 112.09. Uracil is one of the four nucleic acid bases found in RNA. In double-stranded RNA, it pairs with adenine, via two hydrogen bonds in Watson-Crick base pairing. Uracil can be formed by deamination of cytosine. The half-life of uracil in water is 12 years at 100 °C and 3.8 × 108 years at 0 °C at pH 7. It has a UV absorption maximum at 260 nm in neutral solution. It has been found in the Murchison meteorite and has been synthesized in HCN polymerizations and Fischer-Tropsch-type reactions and by the action of electric discharges and irradiations of high-energy protons on simple gas mixtures such as CO–N2–H2O.

See Also


Nucleic Acid Base Pairing Bioorganic Chemistry Electric Discharge Acid Basis 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ribomic IncTokyoJapan