Pyrazine is a symmetrical molecule with point group D2h. It is found in folic acid in the form of pterin. Derivatives like Phenazine are well known for their antitumor, antibiotic and diuretic activity. Pyrazine is less basic in nature than pyridine, pyridazine and pyrimidine. Tetramethylpyrazine (also known as ligustrazine) is reported to scavenge superoxide anion and decrease nitric oxide production in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Tetramethylpyrazine is also a component of some herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In the Staedel-Rugheimer pyrazine synthesis (1876) 2-chloroacetophenone is reacted with ammonia to the amino ketone, then condensed and then oxidized to a pyrazine A variation is the Gutknecht Pyrazine Synthesis (1879) also based on this selfcondensation but differing in the way the alpha-ketoamine is synthesised (the chlorine compound in the above method is a lachrymatory agent)
The Gastaldi synthesis (1921) is another variation :