Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids.

VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, Previous Page, Next Page,top of page

Nucleotides:

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

Nucleotides are monomers consisting of a phosphate group, a five carbon sugar(either ribose or deoxyribose) and a one or two ring nitrogen containing base 

Nucleotides are important for several reasons. First the genetic material (DNA) is a polymer of four different nucleotides. The genetic information is coded in the sequence of nucleotides in a DNA molecule. Polymers of nucleotides such as DNA and the several types of RNA in the body are called nucleic acids. 

Nucleotides and related compounds are also important energy carrying compounds. Among the ones commonly encountered are ATP, and NADH.

VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

Nitrogen bases

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

In nucleotides there may any one of a number of nitrogen bases. Nitrogen bases are functional groups consisting of one or two rings containing both carbon and nitrogen. Adenine monophosphate, AMP and cytosine monophosphate, CMP illustrate the two basic types of nucleotide nitrogen bases.

Purines

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

Purines are nitrogen containing bases consisting of two rings. AMP's nitrogen base has two nitrogen bearing rings(Nitrogens=blue, Phosphorus=yellow, Carbon = grey, Oxygen = red) and is thus a purine called adenine. The two purines you will encounter as part of the structure of nucleotides are called adenine and guanine
 

Pyrimidines

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

A pyrimidine is a nitrogen base with just one ring consisting of carbon and nitrogen. CMP's nitrogen bearing base has one ring and that kind of base is called a pyrimidine.  The major pyrimidines found in nucleotides are cytosine (as in CMP), thymine, and uracil.

VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

 
 
 

NADH

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

NADH is an important electron acceptor in cellular respiration. Note that it consists of a purine containing nucleotide and a pyrimidine containing nucleotide. 

Nucleic acids:

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

Nucleic acids are polymers of nucleotides joined together to make large macromolecules. The important nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid(DNA) and various types of ribonucleic acids(RNA).

DNA: This model represents part of a strand of DNA, the genetic material. Notice the double helix, the backbones of which are formed by joined phosphate groups(yellow).  DNA is the genetic material found in cells and contains instructions that help determine the structure and function of cells.

VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

RNA

Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page

Below is a type of RNA called transfer RNA. This molecule is involved in protein synthesis. It is not a double helix but actually more of a clover looped shape. In both DNA and the RNA's, hydrogen bonds are important in determining the molecule's shape and which nucleotide pairs with which. 

 

  VBS Home page,VBS Course Navigator, Basic Chemistry, Biochemical Gallery, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids, Previous Page, Next Page,Top of page 

 
 pgd. revised 6/24/02