Adenosine is one of the building blocks of nucleic acids.
Structure of adenosine
Adenosine is produced by an adenine binding to a nitrogen base and a ribose (in RNA) or a deoxyribose (in DNA). Adenosine can be bound to phosphate groups. In this case we refer to adenosine monophosphate (AMP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), or adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Function of adenosine
Adenosine is involved in the formation of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). And it also plays major roles in metabolism.
In particular, ATP is an energy-containing molecule that releases energy by hydrolysing a phosphodiester bond.
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is also a special molecule, as it acts as a switch in intracellular transmission.
Adenosine is also a hormonal neurotransmitter.
Adenosine is adenine bound to a ribose. © Wikimedia, public domain