Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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


  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5080-2



Cyanomethanimine is an organic molecule that is a less saturated relative of aminoacetonitrile (glycine nitrile, NH2CH2CN). It has three isomers, N-, E-, and Z-cyanomethanimine. Cyanomethanimine has been proposed as an intermediary in the prebiotic synthesis of the purine nucleobase adenine.


E-Cyanomethanimine has recently been detected by radio astronomers in the interstellar medium (Zaleski et al. 2013).

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Organic Molecule Interstellar Medium Prebiotic Synthesis Saturated Relative 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Zaleski DP, Seifert NA, Steber AL, Muckle MT, Loomis RA, Corby JF, Martinez O, Crabtree KN, Jewell PR, Hollis JM, Lovas FJ, Vasquez D, Nyiramahirwe J, Sciortino N, Johnson K, McCarthy MC, Remijan AJ, Pate BH (2013) Detection of E-cyanomethanimine toward Sagittarius B2(N) in the green bank telescope PRIMOS survey. Astrophys J 765:L10–L15CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA