is a naturally occurring purine
derivative. It is occasionally found as a constituent of nucleic acids
where it is present in the anticodon
in the form of its nucleoside inosine
. It is also known as 6-Hydroxypurine. Hypoxanthine is a necessary additive in certain cell, bacteria and parasite cultures as a substrate and nitrogen source. For example it is commonly a required reagent in malaria parasite cultures since Plasmodium falciparum
requires a source of hypoxanthine for nucleic acid synthesis and energy metabolism.
It is one of the products of the action of xanthine oxidase
, though more normally in purine degradation
, hypoxanthine is formed from oxidation of xanthine
by xanthine oxidase
Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase converts hypoxanthine into IMP in nucleotide salvage.
Hypoxanthine is also a spontaneous deamination product of adenine. Because of its resemblance to guanine, the spontaneous deamination of adenine can lead to an error in DNA transcription/replication.