5'-Deoxythymidine is a research tool for antiviral and anticancer studies. 5'-Deoxythymidine has been employed in studying the entry mechanism into human erythrocytes in comparison with other deoxythymidines. Deoxythymidine is the DNA nucleoside T, which pairs with deoxyadenosine (A) in double-stranded DNA. In cell biology it is employed to synchronize the cells in S phase. As part of one of the 4 nucleotides in DNA, it is a naturally occurring compound that exists in all living organisms and DNA viruses. RNA has uridine (uracil joined to ribose) instead. Uracil is chemically very similar to thymine, the latter being 5-methyluracil. Since thymine nucleotides are precursors of DNA, and not RNA, the prefix "deoxy" is often left out, i.e., deoxythymidine is often just called thymidine.
1. Ishii, M., et al., 1989. Enzymatic production of 5-methyluridine from purine nucleosides and thymine by Erwinia carotovora AJ-2992. Agric. Biol. Chem., 53 (12), 3209-18.
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