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The purine bases guanine and hypoxanthine (derived from adenine by events in the purine salvage pathways) are converted to xanthine and then to uric acid, which is excreted from the body (Watts 1974). The end-point of this pathway in humans and hominoid primates is unusual. Most other mammals metabolize uric acid further to yield more soluble end products, and much speculation has centered on possible roles for high uric acid levels in normal human physiology.