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CHROMOSOMES, DNA AND GENES

DNA deoxyribonucleic acid molecule while Heredity is


the transfer of genetic information from the nucleus of
the cell to its ribosome.

DNA molecule responsible for genetic information. It


is a long helical (spiral) structure similar to a twisted
ladder with rungs or steps.

Genes basic hereditary units responsible for a given


trait(s) of an individual.

A gene is chemically composed of a stretch of DNA that


codes for a particular gene product.

Nucleus--Chromosomes--DNA--genes
Properties:

stable it should not change very often


self reproducing it can undergo replication
specificity nitrogen base (Nb) pairing
regulated for normal functions, growth of
mitotic cells
mutable source of genetic variation
The DNA is a polymer composed of repeating units of nucleotides.
Each nucleotide consists of a phosphate group, sugar and nitrogen
base.

The sugar component of the DNA is a deoxyribose sugar.

The nitrogen bases (Nbs ) can either be purine such as the Adenine (A) or
guanine (G) or pyrimidines such as the cytosine (C) and thymine (T) and
Uracil (U) in the RNA.

Purines (2 rings) Pyrimidines (one ring)


a. Adenine a. Thymine c. Uracil (RNA)
b. Guanine b. Cytosine

A nitrogen base (Nb) covalently bonds with a sugar to form a nucleoside which
in turn covalently bonds with a phosphate group to form a nucleotide.
The covalent joining of nucleotides makes up a
polynucleotide.
Polymer repeating units of nucleotides
Each nucleotide consists of:
1. Nb- nitrogen bases (Nb) either purines
or pyrimidines
2. Deoxyribose sugar a 5 carbon sugar
3. Phosphate group
Purines 2 rings
Adenine (A) Guanine (G)
Pyrimidines one ring
Thymine (T) Cytosine (C)
Uracil (U) in the RNA
Nb pairing is very specific:

A is always paired to T and vice versa by 2


hydrogen bonds

C is always paired to G and vice versa by 3


hydrogen bonds

U replaces T in the RNA. They are paired by 2


hydrogen bonds.
Nb + Deoxyribose = Nucleoside
Nb + Deoxyribose + Phosphate = Nucleotide
Series of Nucleotides = Polynucleotides
Polynucleotides = DNA molecule

Two Polynucleotide Strands of DNA

Complementary due to Nb pairing


Anti-parallel specificity of Nb pairs
Deoxyribose as a 5 carbon sugar of the DNA:

C1 always attached to Nbs through covalent


bonds
C3 and C5 always attached to the Phosphate
group

Phosphoryl end initiates at C5

Hydroxyl end terminates at C3.


Covalent S-P bonds in the backbone

Numerous hydrogen bonds between Nbs

Hydrophobic interaction between the


stacked Nbs
5 carbon deoxyribose sugar

C1 C2 C3

5 phosphoryl end 3 hydroxyl end


Purine - with 2 ring structures, pyrimidine one ring
structure
C=
G
A=T

Strands of DNA are anti parallel and are complementary


with one another
DNA the genetic material
-stores biological information in Nb
sequence

Traits or Phenotypes expressed through the


action of proteins via hormones and enzymes

How does the DNA transfer stored information


to the proteins (amino-acids)?
Transcription Translation
DNA RNA Protein
Reverse Transcription

Replication
Replication duplication /multiplication
of the DNA

Transcription synthesis of RNAs from


DNA (mRNA, t/sRNA, rRNA)

Translation amino acid synthesis in the


ribosomes
Replication
Being the genetic material, the DNA is passed on faithfully from
parent cell to daughter cell and in a broader perspective, DNA must
be passed from one generation to another in order to
preserve the characteristics of a species.

This is made possible by DNA replication - a process


which provides two exact copies of the DNA to be distributed to
daughter cells.

DNA replication is semi-conservative- a newly synthesized


molecule is composed of a template (pattern) strand of
previously synthesized (parental) DNA and a newly synthesized
DNA strand. The accuracy of replication is made possible by
specific base pairings.
DNA, the genetic material stores biological information in
its nucleotide base sequence. But traits are expressed through
the action of proteins, either directly (e.g., when a
protein is a structural protein such as a hormone) or
indirectly (e.g., when a protein acts as an enzyme to
catalyze metabolic reactions that lead to a trait expression).

In transcription, a DNA template is used to produce RNA base


sequence.
At the end of transcription, a single stranded
RNA complementary to the antisense strand is
produced. This could give rise to three types of
RNA's namely:
a. messenger RNA (mRNA),
b. transfer RNA (tRNA)
or soluble RNA (sRNA), and
c. ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
which are all essential in the
translation process
Finally in translation, the RNA produced by
transcription is used as a template to produce
a protein.

This time, the information is


transferred from RNA base
sequence to protein amino-acid sequence.

Eventually therefore, the information stored in


the DNA is relayed to the protein.