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Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule that contains the instructions an organism needs to develop,

live and reproduce. These instructions are found inside every cell, and are passed down from parents to
their children.

DNA structure
DNA is made up of molecules called nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group, a sugar
group and a nitrogen base. The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G)
and cytosine (C). The order of these bases is what determines DNA's instructions, or genetic code.

Nucleotides
All nucleic acids are made up of nucleotides. In DNA, each nucleotide is made up of
three parts: a 5-carbon sugar called deoxyribose, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous
base.

DNA uses four kinds of nitrogenous bases: adenine (A), guanine (G) cytosine (C), and
thymine (T).

Complementary base pairs


Complementary base pairing is the phenomenon where in DNA guanine always hydrogen
bonds to cytosine and adenine always binds to thymine.

The bond between guanine and cytosine shares three hydrogen bonds compared to the A-T bond which
always shares two hydrogen bonds.

The human genome is made up of approximately 3 billion base pairs and is very complex, because of this we
measure base pairs in Kbp (Kilobase pairs).

Function
Complementary base pairing is important in DNA as it allows the base pairs to be arranged in the most
energetically favourable way; it is essential in forming the helical structure of DNA.

It is also important in replication as it allows semiconservative replication [1].

A phosphodiester bond occurs when exactly two of the hydroxyl groups in phosphoric acid react with hydroxyl
groups on other molecules to form two ester bonds. An example is found in the linking of two pentose (5 carbon
sugar) rings to a phosphate group by strong, covalent ester bonds. Each ester bond is formed by
a condensation reaction in which water is lost. This bond is a key structural feature of the backbone of DNA
and RNA and links the 3’ carbon of one nucleotide to the 5’ carbon of another to produce the strands of DNA
and RNA.