Purines are heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. Purines, including substituted purines, are the most widely distributed kind of nitrogen-containing heterocycle in nature. The two most important purines are adenine and guanine. Other notable purines are hypoxanthine, xanthine, theobromine, caffeine, uric acid and isoguanine. Purines are found in a number of other important biomolecules, such as ATP, GTP, cyclic AMP, NADH, and coenzyme A. This pathway depicts a number of processes including purine nucleotide biosynthesis, purine degradation and purine salvage. The major site of purine nucleotide synthesis is in the liver. Synthesis of the purine nucleotides begins with PRPP and leads to the first fully formed nucleotide, inosine 5’-monophosphate (IMP). IMP synthesis begins with 5-phospho-α-ribosyl-1-pyrophosphate, PRPP. Through a series of reactions utilizing ATP, tetrahydrofolate (THF) derivatives, glutamine, glycine and aspartate this pathway yields IMP. The rate limiting reaction is catalyzed by glutamine PRPP amidotransferase which drives the reaction with PRPP and glutamine yielding 5-phosphoribosylamine (PRA). 5-phosphoribosylamine is converted to glycinamide ribotide (GAR) then to formyglycinamide ribotide (FGAR). This set of reactions is catalyzed by a trifunctional enzyme containing GAR synthetase, GAR transformylase and AIR synthetase. FGAR is converted to formylglycinamidine-ribonucleotide (FGAM) by formylglycinamide synthase. FGAM is then converted by aminoimidzaole ribotide synthase to 5-aminoimidazole ribotide (AIR) then carboxylated by aminoimidazole ribotide carboxylase to carboxyaminoimidazole ribotide (CAIR). CAIR is then converted to succinylaminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide (SAICAR) by succinylaminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide synthase followed by conversion to AICAR (via adenylsuccinate lyase) then to FAICAR (via aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide transformylase). FAICAR is finally converted to inosine monophosphate (IMP) by IMP cyclohydrolase. Because of the complexity of this synthetic process, the purine ring is actually composed of atoms derived from many different molecules. The N1 atom arises from the amine group of Asp, the C2 and C8 atoms originate from formate, the N3 and N9 atoms come from the amide group of Gln, the C4, C5 and N7 atoms come from Gly and the C6 atom comes from CO2. IMP represents a branch point for purine biosynthesis, because it can be converted into either AMP or GMP through two distinct reaction pathways. AMP is generated from IMP via adenylsuccinate synthetase (which adds aspartate) and adenylsuccinate lyase. GMP is generated via the action of IMP dehydrogenase and GMP synthase. Catabolism of purine nucleotides ultimately leads to the production of uric acid. Beginning from AMP, the enzymes AMP deaminase and nucleotidase work in concert to generate inosine. Alternately, AMP may be dephosphorylate by nucleotidase and then adenosine deaminase (ADA) converts the free adenosine to inosine. The enzyme purine nucleotide phosphorylase (PNP) converts inosine to hypoxanthine, while xanthine oxidase converts hypoxanthine to xanthine and finally to uric acid. GMP and XMP can also be converted to uric acid via the action of nucleotidase, PNP, guanine deaminase and xanthine oxidase. The synthesis of nucleotides from the purine bases and purine nucleosides takes place in a series of steps known as the salvage pathways. The free purine bases, adenine, guanine, and hypoxanthine, can be reconverted to their corresponding nucleotides by phosphoribosylation. Two key transferase enzymes are involved in the salvage of purines: adenosine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT), which catalyzes the conversion of adenine to AMP and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT), which catalyzes the conversion of hypoxanthine to IMP.