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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1976 Apr 2;425(4):532-6.

Biosynthesis of 3'-deoxyadenosine by Cordyceps militaris. Mechanism of reduction.


The biosynthesis of 3'-deoxyadenosine (cordycepin) by Cordyceps militaris has been investigated using [U-14C]adenosine and [3-3H]ribose. Crystallization of the resulting radioactive 3'-deoxyadenosine to a constant specific activity showed incorporation of both labeled compounds. A control showed that the 3H:14C ratio of the AMP isolated from the RNA was the same as the 3H:14C ratio in the 3'-deoxyadenosine. The 14C ratio in the adenine: ribose of the [U-14C]adenosine added to the 3'-deoxyadenosine producing cultures of C. militaris and of the isolated 3'-deoxyadenosine was the same, e.g. 50:50. These data provide strong evidence that adenosine in converted to 3'-deoxyadenosine without hydrolysis of the N-riboside bond. Degradation of the 3-deoxyribose from 3'-deoxyadenosine showed that the 3H was retained on carbon-3. These results suggest that the formation of 3'-deoxyadenosine may proceed by a reductive mechanism similar to that for the formation of 2'-deoxynucleotides.

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