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Genetics
Acids and Bases

What are the functions of nucleic acids?

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June 14, 2014 1:53AM

Two types of nucleic acids exist: DNA & RNA.

DNA is a nucleic acid and the information containing molecule in the cell. DNA is found in the nucleus of human cells. The information in DNA is coded in what we call genes. The genes use RNA to deliver the code to ribosomes to produce proteins. These proteins make us what we are. DNA is also copied completely when it is duplicated to form new cells or new individuals.

The DNA is just a pattern made up of four different nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a sugar (deoxyribose) in the middle of a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base.

There are two classes of bases. Two are purines, (double-ringed structures) and two are pyrimidines (single-ringed structures). The four bases in DNA's alphabet are:

Adenine (A) - a purine

Cytosine (C) - a pyrimidine

Guanine (G) - a purine

Thymine (T) - a pyrimidine

Strands of DNA are made of sugar and phosphate portions forming the long sides of a ladder, and the bases are the rungs of the ladder. The nitrogenous bases of the DNA pair up: (A with T, G with C), held together by weak hydrogen bonds. These strands are together like a twisted ladder and are called the double helix.

In both DNA and RNA, there are four major bases. However, RNA has the first three plus uracil (U). The substitution of uracil for thymine as a base material is the chief chemical difference between RNA and DNA. RNA is essential in the production of proteins and the process of DNA duplication. It carries the code and double checks so that no errors occur. Some errors do occur, and the result can be a mutation that causes the new cell or individual to be lost or the result can be small or nothing.

The function of nucleic acids is to

(1) store hereditary information and

(2) contain information for making all the body's proteins

RNA has 3 types with different functions.

1. mRNA carries information from nucleus to cytoplasm (to the ribosomes).

2. tRNA carries amino acids that form proteins (connecting one by one to form proteins).

3. rRNA forms ribosomes.
They contain in DNA,RNA,ATP,FAD,NADPH