Nucleic Acid

1. Each nucleotide consists of three components
a) a pentose sugar
b) A phosphate group
c) A nitrogenous base

2. All three components are joined together through condensation process. Two molecules are removed
during this process.

3. The pentose sugar and the nitrogenous base are joined together to form nucleoside by condensation.

4. The pentose sugar in a nucleotide is a five -carbon sugar and it may be ribose found in RNA or
deoxyribose found in DNA. Deoxyribose has the same structure as ribose except that it lacks an oxygen
atom at its second carbon.

5. The nitrogenous base in the nucleotide can be double -ringed purine or a single-ringed pyrimidine.
Purine bases consist of two members, adenine (A), guanine (G), while pyrimidine bases consist of three
members, thymine (T), cytosine (C ), and uracil (U).

6. In RNA, the nitrogenous bases are adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil instead of thymine.

7. The phosphate group in the nucleotide is derived from phosphoric acid and it gives the acidic property
to nucleic acid.

8. When two nucleosides are bound together through condensation process, a dinucleotide is formed. A
covalent bond is formed between the hydroxyl group on carbon 3 of the pentose sugar of one nucleotide
and the phosphate group of another and is referred to as the phosphodiester bond.

9. Phosphodiester bond is a strong bond which binds nucleotides together to form a chain of
sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA or RNA.

10. This process of polymerisation may repeat a few million times to form a long polynucleotide chain
which is the basis for DNA and RNA

always keep the DNA backbone intact making DNA a stable molecule suitable as an inheritable genetic material. The structure of DNA can be compared to a spiral staircase whereby the two sides represent the sugar-phosphate backbone formed by the two complementary strands while the steps represent the base pairs which hold the two strands together. One strand runs from 5’ end to 3’ end and the other runs from 3’ to 5’ by weak hydrogen bonds between the bases. There are three types of RNA such as messenger RNA (mRNA). The backbone of the polynucleotide chain consists of the repeating sequence of phosphate -sugar of the nucleotides with all the bases pointing to one side of it.4nm. 20.34nm and a complete turn of the DNA helix consists of 10 base pairs with a distance of 3. However. Messenger RNA is a linear single strand polynucleotide. exons are spliced together before it leaves the nucleus to bind to the ribosomes during protein synthesis. 13. Ribosomal RNA is synthesised in the nucleolar organiser of the nucleolus. 14. 18. 15. ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and transfer RNA (tRNA). it was found that the diameter of the DNA helix is 2nm. The distance between the base pairs is 0. From the X-ray diffraction . . 16.11. mRNA is processed to remove the noncoding introns and the coding sequence. The RNA molecule consists of a single polynucleotide chain which is shorter than that in DNA. It consists of a nucleotide sequence transcribed from the triplet codes of the DNA in the nucleus. This forms a single strand of the DNA or RNA molecule depending on the type of bases involved. Hydrogen bonds are formed when the purine bases on one strand are paired with the pyrimidine bases on the other strand. Each DNA molecule is a double-stranded polynucleotide held antiparallel to each other. It is only formed during protein synthesis. The codons formed in mRNA are therefore complementary to the triplet codes of DNA. It is one of the structural components of ribosome and found to be the abundant type of RNA. In eukaryotic cells. 19. 17. 12. the strong covalent phosphodiester bonds which cannot be easily disrupted. The double helix structure of a DNA molecule was first discovered by Watson and Crick in 1953. The weak hydrogen bonds between the complementary bases can be easily broken by heat to separate the two DNA strand. 21.

tRNA & rRNA A much longer and bigger molecule A very short molecule Function as a gene Does not function as a gene . It is the smallest of three RNA molecules. cytosine and thymine cytosine and uracil There is one type of DNA There are three types of RNA : mRNA. guanine.22. guanine. Each tRNA has a specific region of three bases called anticodon which is complementary to the the codon of the mRNA that codes for the amino acid which it carries on the 3’ end of the molecule. Transfer RNA is a folded. RNA and DNA structural difference. single polynucleotide strand. (tRNA his) 23. Each is specific for one kind of amino acid charged to it during protein synthesis. There are about 20 groups of tRNA. DNA RNA Double strand polynucleotide Single strand polynucleotide The sugar unit in the nucleotide monomer is The sugar unit in the nucleotide monomer is ribose deoxyribose The nitrogenous bases are adenine. The nitrogenous bases are adenine. Each tRNA is about 80 bases long and folded to form a clover-leaf arrangement held by hydrogen bonds between complementary bases. 24.

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