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Encyclopedia > Nucleic acid
Look up nucleic acid in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

A nucleic acid is a macromolecule composed of nucleotide chains. In biochemistry these molecules carry genetic information or form structures within cells. The most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Nucleic acids are universal in living things, as they are found in all cells. They are also found in viruses. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Illustration of a polypeptide macromolecule Structure of a polyphenylene dendrimer macromolecule reported by Müllen and coworkers in Chem. ... A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. ... Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes in living organisms. ... 3D (left and center) and 2D (right) representations of the terpenoid molecule atisane. ... A DNA sequence (sometimes genetic sequence) is a succession of letters representing the primary structure of a real or hypothetical DNA molecule or strand, The possible letters are A, C, G, and T, representing the four nucleotide subunits of a DNA strand (adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine), and typically these are... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell being used to describe the smallest unit of a living organism Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... Left: An RNA strand, with its nitrogenous bases. ... This article is about biological infectious particles. ...


Artificial nucleic acids include peptide nucleic acid (PNA), Morpholino and locked nucleic acid (LNA), as well as glycol nucleic acid (GNA) and threose nucleic acid (TNA). Each of these is distinguished from naturally-occurring DNA or RNA by changes to the backbone of the molecule. PNA can also refer to the Palestinian National Authority or Pakistan National Alliance. ... Segment of a Morpholino-RNA heteroduplex, 8-mer shown In molecular biology, a Morpholino is a kind of molecule used to modify gene expression. ... A locked nucleic acid (LNA) is a modified RNA nucleotide. ... GNA is glycol nucleic acid, a chemical similar to DNA or RNA but differing in the composition of its backbone. ... TNA is threose nucleic acid, a chemical similar to DNA or RNA but differing in the composition of its backbone. ...

Contents

Chemical structure

The term "nucleic acid" is the generic name for a family of biopolymers, named for their role in the cell nucleus. The monomers from which nucleic acids are constructed are called nucleotides. Biopolymers are a class of polymers produced by living organisms. ... HeLa cells stained for DNA with the Blue Hoechst dye. ... In chemistry, a monomer (from Greek mono one and meros part) is a small molecule that may become chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer. ... A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. ...


Each nucleotide consists of three components: a nitrogenous heterocyclic base, which is either a purine or a pyrimidine; a pentose sugar; and a phosphate group. Nucleic acid types differ in the structure of the sugar in their nucleotides - DNA contains 2-deoxyriboses while RNA contains ribose. Also, the nitrogenous bases found in the two nucleic acid types are different: adenine, cytosine, and guanine are found in both RNA and DNA, while thymine only occurs in DNA and uracil only occurs in RNA. Other rare nucleic acid bases can occur, for example inosine in strands of mature transfer RNA. Heterocyclic compounds are substances which contain a ring structure as found in benzene and the aromatic compounds, or aromatic hydrocarbons, but in which other atoms than carbon, such as sulfur, oxygen or nitrogen are found as part of the ring. ... Acids and bases: Acid-base extraction Acid-base reaction Acid dissociation constant Acidity function Buffer solutions pH Proton affinity Self-ionization of water Acids: Lewis acids Mineral acids Organic acids Strong acids Superacids Weak acids Bases: Lewis bases Organic bases Strong bases Superbases Non-nucleophilic bases Weak bases edit In... Purine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. ... Pyrimidine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound similar to benzene and pyridine, containing two nitrogen atoms at positions 1 and 3 of the six-member ring [1]. It is isomeric with two other forms of diazine. ... A pentose is a monosaccharide with five carbon atoms. ... This article is about sugar as food and as an important and widely traded commodity. ... A phosphate, in inorganic chemistry, is a salt of phosphoric acid. ... Deoxyribose Deoxyribose, also known as D-Deoxyribose and 2-deoxyribose, is an aldopentose — a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms, and including an aldehyde functional group. ... Ribose Ribose, primarily seen as D-ribose, is an aldopentose — a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms, and including an aldehyde functional group. ... For the programming language Adenine, see Adenine (programming language). ... Cytosine is one of the 5 main nucleobases used in storing and transporting genetic information within a cell in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. It is a pyrimidine derivative, with a heterocyclic aromatic ring and two substituents attached (an amine group at position 4 and a keto group at... Guanine is one of the five main nucleobases found in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA; the others being adenine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. ... For the similarly-spelled vitamin compound, see Thiamine Thymine, also known as 5-methyluracil, is a pyrimidine nucleobase. ... Uracil is a pyrimidine which is common and naturally occurring. ... Inosine is a molecule (known as a nucleoside) that is formed when hypoxanthine is attached to a ribose ring (also known as a ribofuranose) via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. ... Transfer RNA Transfer RNA (abbreviated tRNA), first hypothesized by Francis Crick, is a small RNA chain (73-93 nucleotides) that transfers a specific amino acid to a growing polypeptide chain at the ribosomal site of protein synthesis during translation. ...


Nucleic acids are usually either single-stranded or double-stranded, though structures with three or more strands can form. A double-stranded nucleic acid consists of two single-stranded nucleic acids held together by hydrogen bonds, such as in the DNA double helix. In contrast, RNA is usually single-stranded, but any given strand may fold back upon itself to form secondary structure as in tRNA and rRNA. Within cells, DNA is usually double-stranded, though some viruses have single-stranded DNA as their genome. Retroviruses have single-stranded RNA as their genome. A chemical bond is the physical process responsible for the attractive interactions between atoms and molecules, and that which confers stability to diatomic and polyatomic chemical compounds. ... This article is about biological infectious particles. ... Genera Alpharetrovirus Betaretrovirus Gammaretrovirus Deltaretrovirus Epsilonretrovirus Lentivirus Spumavirus A retrovirus is any virus belonging to the viral family Retroviridae. ...


The sugars and phosphates in nucleic acids are connected to each other in an alternating chain, linked by shared oxygens, forming a phosphodiester functional group. In conventional nomenclature, the carbons to which the phosphate groups attach are the 3' end and the 5' end carbons of the sugar. This gives nucleic acids polarity. The bases extend from a glycosidic linkage to the 1"carbon of the pentose sugar ring. Diagram of phosphodiester bonds between nucleotides A phosphodiester bond is a group of strong covalent bonds between the phosphorus atom in a phosphate group and two other molecules over two ester bonds. ... Molecular biologists use several shorthands when referring to nucleic acid molecules such as DNA and RNA, collectively referred to as nucleic acid nomenclature. ...


Types of nucleic acids

Nucleobases

Main article: Nucleobase

Nucleobases are heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds containing nitrogen atoms. Nucleobases are the parts of RNA and DNA involved in base pairing. Cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine are the found predominantly in DNA, while in RNA uracil replaces thymine. These are abbreviated as C, G, A, T, U, respectively. Adenine Guanine Thymine Cytosine ... Heterocyclic compounds are substances which contain a ring structure as found in benzene and the aromatic compounds, or aromatic hydrocarbons, but in which other atoms than carbon, such as sulfur, oxygen or nitrogen are found as part of the ring. ... In chemistry, an aromatic molecule is one in which electrons are free to cycle around circular arrangements of atoms, which are alternately singly and doubly bonded to one another. ... Benzene is the simplest of the arenes, a family of organic compounds An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon and hydrogen; therefore, carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and elementary carbon are not organic (see below for more on the definition controversy... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... Left: An RNA strand, with its nitrogenous bases. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... Base pairs, of a DNA molecule. ... Cytosine is one of the 5 main nucleobases used in storing and transporting genetic information within a cell in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. It is a pyrimidine derivative, with a heterocyclic aromatic ring and two substituents attached (an amine group at position 4 and a keto group at... Guanine is one of the five main nucleobases found in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA; the others being adenine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. ... For the programming language Adenine, see Adenine (programming language). ... For the similarly-spelled vitamin compound, see Thiamine Thymine, also known as 5-methyluracil, is a pyrimidine nucleobase. ... Uracil is a pyrimidine which is common and naturally occurring. ... For the similarly-spelled vitamin compound, see Thiamine Thymine, also known as 5-methyluracil, is a pyrimidine nucleobase. ...


Nucleobases are complementary, and when forming base pairs, must always join accordingly: cytosine-guanine, adenine-thymine (adenine-uracil when RNA). On the left: nucleotides that forms the DNA and their complementary. ...


Two main nucleobase classes exist, named for the molecule which forms their skeleton. These are the double-ringed purines and single-ringed pyrimidines. Adenine and guanine are purines (abbreviated as R), while cytosine, thymine, and uracil are all pyrimidines (abbreviated as Y). Purine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. ... Pyrimidine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound similar to benzene and pyridine, containing two nitrogen atoms at positions 1 and 3 of the six-member ring [1]. It is isomeric with two other forms of diazine. ...


Hypoxanthine and xanthine are mutant forms of adenine and guanine, respectively, created through mutagen presence, through deamination (replacement of the amine-group with a hydroxyl-group). These are abbreviated HX and X. Hypoxanthine is a naturally occurring purine derivative, and one of the products of the action of xanthine oxidase on xanthine, though more normally in purine degradation, hypoxanthine is oxidized by xanthine oxidase to form xanthine. ... Xanthines are a group of alkaloids that are commonly used for their effects as mild stimulants and as bronchodilators, notably in treating the symptoms of asthma. ... In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. ...


Nucleosides

Main article: Nucleoside

Nucleosides are glycosylamines made by attaching a nucleobase (often referred to simply as bases) to a ribose or deoxyribose (sugar) ring. In short, a nucleoside is a base linked to sugar. The names derive from the nucleobase names. The nucleosides commonly occurring in DNA and RNA include cytidine, uridine, adenosine, guanosine and thymidine. When a phosphate is added to a nucleoside (by phosphorylated by a specific kinase enzyme), a nucleotide is produced. Nucleosides are glycosylamines made by attaching a nucleobase (often reffered to simply as bases) to a ribose ring. ... Glycosylamine is a compound consisting of an amine with a β-N-glycosidic bond to a carbohydrate. ... Adenine Guanine Thymine Cytosine ... Ribose Ribose, primarily seen as D-ribose, is an aldopentose — a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms, and including an aldehyde functional group. ... Deoxyribose Deoxyribose, also known as D-Deoxyribose and 2-deoxyribose, is an aldopentose — a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms, and including an aldehyde functional group. ... This article is about sugar as food and as an important and widely traded commodity. ... Cytidine is a molecule (known as a nucleoside) that is formed when cytosine is attached to a ribose ring (also known as a ribofuranose) via a β-N1-glycosidic bond. ... Uridine is a molecule (known as a nucleoside) that is formed when uracil is attached to a ribose ring (also known as a ribofuranose) via a β-N1-glycosidic bond. ... Adenosine is a nucleoside composed of adenine attached to a ribose (ribofuranose) moiety via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. ... The chemical structure of Guanosine Guanosine is a nucleoside comprising guanine attached to a ribose (ribofuranose) ring via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. ... The chemical structure of deoxythymidine Thymidine (more precisely called deoxythymidine can also be labelled deoxyribosylthymine, and thymine deoxyriboside) is a chemical compound, more precisely a pyrimidine deoxynucleoside. ... A phosphorylated serine residue Phosphorylation is the addition of a phosphate (PO4) group to a protein or a small molecule or the introduction of a phosphate group into an organic molecule. ... In biochemistry, a kinase is a type of enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from high-energy donor molecules, such as ATP, to specific target molecules (substrates); the process is termed phosphorylation. ...


Nucleotides and deoxynucleotides

Main article: Nucleotide

A nucleotide consists of a nucleoside and one or more phosphate groups. Nucleotides are the monomers of RNA and DNA, as well as forming the structural units of several important cofactors - CoA, flavin adenine dinucleotide, flavin mononucleotide, adenosine triphosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. In the cell nucleotides play important roles in metabolism, and signaling. A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. ... A phosphate, in inorganic chemistry, is a salt of phosphoric acid. ... In organic chemistry, functional groups (or moieties) are specific groups of atoms within molecules, that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. ... In chemistry, a monomer (from Greek mono one and meros part) is a small molecule that may become chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer. ... Left: An RNA strand, with its nitrogenous bases. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... A cofactor is the following: In mathematics a cofactor is the minor of an element of a square matrix. ... Coenzyme A (CoA, CoASH, or HSCoA) is a coenzyme, notable for its role in the synthesis and oxidization of fatty acids, and the oxidation of pyruvate in the citric acid cycle. ... For other uses, see FAD (disambiguation). ... Flavin mononucleotide or FMN is derived from riboflavin (vitamin B2) and functions as cofactor of various oxidoreductases. ... Adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) is a multifunctional nucleotide that is most important as a molecular currency of intracellular energy transfer. ... Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) is used in anabolic reactions, such as fatty acid and nucleic acid synthesis, which require NADPH as a reducing agent. ... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell being used to describe the smallest unit of a living organism Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the... Structure of the coenzyme adenosine triphosphate, a central intermediate in energy metabolism. ...


Nucleotides are named after the nucleoside on which they are based, in conjunction with the number of phosphates they contain, for example:

Adenosine monophosphate, also known as 5-adenylic acid and abbreviated AMP, is a nucleotide that is found in RNA. It is an ester of phosphoric acid with the nucleoside adenosine. ... Adenosine diphosphate, abbreviated ADP, is a nucleotide. ... Adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) is a multifunctional nucleotide that is most important as a molecular currency of intracellular energy transfer. ...

Ribonucleic acids

Main article: RNA

Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is a nucleic acid polymer consisting of nucleotide monomers, which plays several important roles in the processes of translating genetic information from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into proteins. RNA acts as a messenger between DNA and the protein synthesis complexes known as ribosomes, forms vital portions of ribosomes, and serves as an essential carrier molecule for amino acids to be used in protein synthesis. Left: An RNA strand, with its nitrogenous bases. ...


Deoxyribonucleic acids

Main article: DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information and DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ...


External links

  • Prediction of hairpin forming potential in nucleotide sequences
  • Interview with Aaron Klug, Nobel Laureate for structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic-acid protein complexes provided by the Vega Science Trust.


v  d  e
Major families of biochemicals
Peptides | Amino acids | Nucleic acids | Carbohydrates | Lipids | Terpenes | Carotenoids | Tetrapyrroles | Enzyme cofactors | Steroids | Flavonoids | Alkaloids | Polyketides | Glycosides
Analogues of nucleic acids: Types of Nucleic Acids Analogues of nucleic acids:
Nucleobases: Purine (Adenine, Guanine) | Pyrimidine (Uracil, Thymine, Cytosine)
Nucleosides: Adenosine/Deoxyadenosine | Guanosine/Deoxyguanosine | Uridine | Thymidine | Cytidine/Deoxycytidine
Nucleotides: monophosphates (AMP, UMP, GMP, CMP) | diphosphates (ADP, UDP, GDP, CDP) | triphosphates (ATP, UTP, GTP, CTP, GTPgammaS) | cyclic (cAMP, cGMP, cADPR)
Deoxynucleotides: monophosphates (dAMP, TMP, dGMP, dCMP) | diphosphates (dADP, TDP, dGDP, dCDP) | triphosphates (dATP, TTP, dGTP, dCTP)
Ribonucleic acids: RNA | mRNA | piRNA | tRNA | rRNA | ncRNA | gRNA | shRNA | siRNA | snRNA | miRNA | snoRNA
Deoxyribonucleic acids: DNA | mtDNA | cDNA | plasmid | Cosmid | BAC | YAC | HAC
Analogues of nucleic acids: GNA | PNA | TNA | Morpholino | LNA

  Results from FactBites:
 
Incomplete nucleic acid sequences (2915 words)
With the introduction of methods of rapid nucleic acid sequence determination, synthesis of mixed oligonucleotide probes and computer-assisted analysis of nucleic acid sequences, the use of a single symbol to designate a variety of possible nucleotides at a single position has become widespread over the last few years.
For double-stranded nucleic acids Table 2 permits the allocation of symbols to the complementary strand.
Examples are given whereby the nomenclature is applied to sequences recognised by certain type II restriction endonucleases (Table 3) and to uncertainties in deriving a nucleic acid sequence from the corresponding amino acid sequence (Table 4).
Nucleic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (390 words)
Nucleic acids are found in all living cells and viruses.
Likewise, the nitrogenous bases possible in the two nucleic acids are different: adenine, cytosine, and guanine are possible in both RNA and DNA, while thymine is possible only in DNA and uracil is possible only in RNA.
Nucleic acids are primarily biology's means of storing and transmitting genetic information, though RNA is also capable of acting as an enzyme.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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