I see the suffix "sine" (seen/sin) a lot, adenosine, cytosine, lysine, tyrosine, etc. Most of where I hear it is in amino acid R groups, but it's usually only the prefix that is recognized as significant.

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    $\begingroup$ Actual suffix is just -ine and it's standard. "s" comes from various (typically greek) words, like tyros - cheese. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jan 31, 2018 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ Comparing adenine/adenosine and cytosine/cytidine couldn't the argument be made that the suffix was -osine for these two? $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2018 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


According to Textbook of metabolism and metabolic disorders (1964):

The ribosides derived from purines have the suffix -osine; those from pyrimidines, the suffix -idine. The corresponding deoxyribosides, with the exception of thymidine, do not have any such simple designation. Occasionally, instead of, for example, guanine-deoxyriboside, the term deoxy-guanosine is used.

Beyond the more common adenosine and guanosine, there are also:

inosine and


  • $\begingroup$ That's a pretty old reference, but what about lysine? Or, what is lys? $\endgroup$
    – John Joe
    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnJoe I picked an old reference intentionally, because I am interested in when the convention started. A 2016 book says (page 453) "For purine bases, the suffix -osine is used (adenosine, guanosine)" books.google.com/… "Lysine" has an unrelated word origin bioetymology.blogspot.com/2012/03/lysine.html $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Feb 2, 2018 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnJoe see also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/-ine $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Feb 2, 2018 at 12:15

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