Evidence for the Presence of Kinetin in DNA and Cell Extracts

FEBS Lett. 1996 Sep 16;393(2-3):197-200. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(96)00884-8.


In contrast to the current view that kinetin (N6-furfuryladenine) is an unnatural and synthetic compound, we have detected it in commercially available DNA, in freshly extracted cellular DNA from human cells and in plant cell extracts by two independent methods. First, we discovered that N6-furfuryladenine has electrochemical properties that can be applied for monitoring this modified base by a HPLC/UV/EC method. Second, we have confirmed electrochemical assignments by mass-spectrometric analysis. A pathway of kinetin formation is proposed in which the formation of furfural by oxidative damage of the deoxyribose moiety of DNA is followed by its reaction with adenine residues to form N6-furfuryladenine. Since this modification can lead to mutations, the odd DNA base has to be removed by repair enzymes.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenine / analysis
  • Adenine / chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cocos
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Kinetin
  • Molecular Structure
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry


  • DNA, Plant
  • Tissue Extracts
  • DNA
  • Adenine
  • Kinetin