Nucleic Acids and their functions

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  • Created by: zoolouise
  • Created on: 16-03-16 19:47

Nucleic Acids and their functions

Nucleotide structure

  • Nucleic acids - polymers of nucleotides (DNA, RNA, ATP)
  • Nucleotides - made up of a pentose ugar, nitrogenous base and a phosphate group
  • Polynucleotides - many nucleotides together (they can be millions of nucleotides long)

There are three components in a nucleotide and they are combined by a condensation reaction which involves two molecules joining to form a large molecule and a small molecule - usually water.


1) A phosphate group - the phosphate group is the same structure in all nucleotides.

2) A pentose sugar - it's ribose in RNA, deoxyribose in DNA (lacking one oxygen)

3) An organic base - it's often referred to as a nitrogenous base.

There are two types of organic bases ( a big base can only bond to a small base and vise versa):

  • Pyrimide bases - thymine (T), cytosine (C) and uracil (U)
  • Purine bases - adenine (A) and guanine (G


Chemical energy and biological processes

In biological sytems:

  • Chemical energy is used in biological processes, bonds must make or…


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