NUCLEIC ACIDS

NUCLEIC ACIDS

The other type of macromolecule that one would find in the acid insoluble fraction of any living tissue is the nucleic acid. These are polynucleotides. Together with polysaccharides and polypeptides these comprise the true macromolecular fraction of any living tissue or cell.

For nucleic acids, the building block is a nucleotide. A nucleotide has three chemically distinct components. One is a heterocyclic compound, the second is a monosaccharide and the third a phosphoric acid or phosphate.

The heterocyclic compounds in nucleic acids are the nitrogenous bases named adenine, guanine, uracil, cytosine, and thymine. Adenine and Guanine are substituted purines while the rest are substituted pyrimidines.

The skeletal heterocyclic ring is called as purine and pyrimidine respectively. The sugar found in polynucleotides is either ribose (a monosaccharide pentose) or 2’ deoxyribose. A nucleic acid containing deoxyribose is called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) while that which contains ribose is called ribonucleic acid (RNA).

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