Kinetin Occurrence Structure and Chemical Properties

Kinetin was isolated in 1955 from autoclaved herring sperm DNA. For many years it was considered to be a synthetic product. Now it is known that it occurs in commercially available DNA and naturally as a component of freshly extracted plant and human DNA as well as in urine and coconut water where it reaches a concentration of 0.31 x 10~3M [1-4].

Kinetin belongs to a group of plant hormones called cytokinin. These are adenine derivatives with an additional side chain at the N6 atom. In accordance with the structure of the side chain, cytokinins are classified as isoprenoid with an isopen-tenyl or a hydroxyisopentenyl group or aromatic, where a benzyl group occurs. Kinetin contains a furfuryl group at N6 (Fig. 20.1) [1].

Kinetin is soluble in strong acids, alkali, and glacial acetic acid. It is slightly soluble in ethanol, butanol, acetone, and water [1]. The cytokinin shows electrochemical

CH2-k

CH2-k

Fig. 20.1 Chemical structure of kinetin

Fig. 20.1 Chemical structure of kinetin properties that enable simple monitoring of its level. This feature is found in, among others, adducts of nucleic acids but not modified compounds of DNA [2].

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