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Pyrazines [1,4-Diazines, 1,4-Diazabenzenes] are six-membered aromatic heterocyclic organic compounds with two nitrogen atoms at 1,4-positions. Pyrazine is a weaker base (pKb = 13.4) than pyridine (pKb = 8.8), pyrimidine (pKb = 12.7), or pyridazine (pKb = 11.7).
Pyrazines are part of several biologically active polycyclic compounds; examples are quinoxalines, phenazines; and the bio-luminescent natural products pteridines, flavins, and their derivatives. All these compounds are characterized by a low lying unoccupied pi-molecular orbital and by the ability to act as a bridging ligand. In addition, a large number of pyrazine derivatives are known for their antitumor, antibiotic, anticonvulsant, antituberculosis, and diuretic activities.
In addition to other applications, pyrazine derivatives can also be utilized as flavouring agents, fragrance agents, and dyes. There are two important types of pyrazines which are mainly used in the flavour-fragrance industries, specifically alkyl and alkoxy pyrazines. Phenazine is a dibenzo annulated pyrazine, and it can be found in many dyes such as eurhodines, toluylene red, indulines, and safranines as a parent compound.