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How are nucleic acids formed?

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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Hint: Nucleic acids are an important class of macromolecules. They are found in all cells and viruses.

Complete answer:
Nucleic acids are polymers which are essential to all forms of life. The two main classes of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). DNA is the genetic material found in all living organisms. It is found in the nucleus of eukaryotes and also exists independently in the chloroplasts and mitochondria. In prokaryotes, the DNA is not enclosed in a membrane and is free-floating within the cytoplasm in the form of the nucleoid. There are three different forms of RNA- messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).

DNA and RNA are made up of monomers known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide is made up: a pentose sugar, a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group. Types of nitrogenous bases are- adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), thymine (T), and uracil (U). AGCT are present in DNA while AGCU are present in RNA. The sugar in DNA and RNA differs by hydroxyl group present in the second carbon ribose sugar present in RNA. Nucleotides are synthesized from readily available precursors in the cell. The bond between two nitrogenous bases is hydrogen bonding and it is called base pairing. Nucleic acids are formed by repeated synthesis reactions between nucleotides. This results from the synthesis of a phosphodiester linkage between the phosphate group of one nucleotide and the sugar of another nucleotide.

Note: The nucleic acid is responsible for maintaining genetic information of all organisms and is also involved in protein synthesis and gene regulation. DNA is double helix while RNA can be single or double-stranded.
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