Download NOTES: Nucleic Acids

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nucleic acids store and transmit
hereditary information
Contain the following elements:
C, H, N, O, P
Two types of nucleic acids:
1. DNA
2. RNA
1. DNA = Deoxyribonucleic acid
• “encodes the instructions”(genetic code)
for the specific amino acid sequence
of a protein
• is copied and passed from one generation of cells
to another
(condensed DNA = chromosome)
• Eukaryotes- nucleus
• Prokaryotes- cytoplasm
2. RNA = Ribonucleic acid
• functions in the actual
synthesis of proteins
coded for by DNA
• mRNA carries the encoded information to
the ribosomes; tRNA carries the amino
acids to the ribosome; & rRNA is a major
component of ribosomes
DNA ==>
RNA ==>
Structure of Nucleic Acids
• Nucleic acids are macromolecules built of
monomers called NUCLEOTIDES
Each nucleotide consists of:
1. 5-carbon sugar:
-deoxyribose in DNA
-ribose in RNA
2. Phosphate group (attached to #5 carbon on
3. Nitrogenous base
– purines (double ring; A & G)
– pyrimidines (single ring; C, T & U)
• nucleotides are joined together
by phosphodiester linkages
(between phosphate of one
nucleotide and the sugar of the
• this results in a backbone with a
repeating pattern of: sugarphosphate-sugar-phosphate...