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NUCLEIC ACIDS

Geromil J. Lara, RMT, MSMT

CHROMOSOMES AND GENES
• Chromosome
– Structure in the cell nucleus thought to be the carrier of genetic information

• Gene
– Portion of a chromosome that controlled a specific inheritable trait

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• Nucleic Acids
– Polymers – Polynucleotides

• Part of Nucleotide
– A five-membered ring monosaccharide – A nitrogen-containing cyclic compound – A phosphate group

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• Types of Nucleic Acids
– DNA – RNA

• SUGARS
– DNA – 2-deoxyribose (2-deoxy means that an oxygen atom is missing from the C2 position of ribose – RNA – ribose

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• BASES
– Purine (2)
• Contains two-fused nitrogen-containing ring • Adenine • Guanine

– Pyrimidine (3)
• • • • Has one nitrogen-containing ring Cytosine Thymine Uracil

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• SUGAR + BASE = NUCLEOSIDE
– Sugar and the base are connected by a bond between one of the nitrogen atoms in a ring and the sugar’s anomeric carbon atom (the one bonded to two O atoms)
– β-N-glycosidic acid – the bond connecting the sugar and the base

http://www.aw-bc.com/mathews/

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• NUCLEOSIDE + PHOSPHATE = NUCLEOTIDE

– Nucleotides – are the building blocks of nucleic acids – Monomers of the DNA and RNA polymers – Each nucleotide is a 5’-monophosphate ester of a nucleoside – Are named by adding 5’-monophosphate at the end of the name of the nucleoside

RIBONUCLEOTIDE

DEOXYRIBONUCLEOTIDE

COMPOSITION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS
• Nucleotides
– Can add additional phosphate groups to form diphosphate or triphosphate esters

DNA
BASES DEOXYRIBONUCLEOSIDES DEOXYRIBONUCLEOTIDES
ADENINE (A) Deoxyadenosine 5’Monophosphate (dAMP) Deoxyguanosine 5’Monophosphate (dGMP)

Deoxyadenosine Deoxyguanosine

GUANINE (G)

CYTOSINE (C)

Deoxycytidine

Deoxycytidine 5’-Monophosphate (dCMP)

THYMINE (T)

Deoxythymidine

Deoxythymidine 5’Monophosphate (dAMP)

RNA
BASES RIBONUCLEOSIDES RIBONUCLEOTIDES
ADENINE (A) Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate (AMP) Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate (GMP)

Adenosine Guanosine

GUANINE (G)

CYTOSINE (C)

Cytidine

Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate (CMP)

URACIL (T)

Uridine

Uridine 5’-Monophosphate (AMP)

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Primary Structure
– Alternating deoxyribose and phosphate group
– backbone of the molecule – Phosphate group is linked to the 3’ carbon of one deoxyribose unit and simultaneously to the 5’ carbon of the next deoxyribose unit – Provides structural stability

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Primary Structure
– The bases that are the side-chain groups
• Carry all the information necessary for protein synthesis

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Secondary Structure
– James Watson and Francis Crick
• Based on the following: • Chargaff Rule that (A and T) and (G and C) are present in equimolar quantities • X-ray diffraction photographs obtained by Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Secondary Structure
– Double Helix
• The 2 polynucleotide chains run in opposite directions • One 5’ – OH and one 3’ – OH terminal • Bases are hydrophobic • Sugar-phosphate backbone is exposed to the aqueous environment

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Secondary Structure
– Chargaff’s Rule
• For each A on one chain, a T is aligned opposite it on the other chain • G–C • The bases so paired form H bonds with each other, 2 for A-T and 3 for G-C (complementary base pairs)

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Higher Structure
– DNA in the nuclei is not stretched out, but rather coiled around basic protein molecules called histones
• The acidic DNA and the basic histones attract each other by electrostatic (ionic) forces, combining to form units called nucleosomes • In a nucleosome, 8 histones form a core, around which a 147-base pair DNA double helix is wound

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• DNA
– Is almost always double-stranded (helical structure – 2’-deoxyribose

• RNA
– Single-stranded – Ribose

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Types of RNA
– Messenger RNA (mRNA)
• Carry the genetic information from the DNA in the nucleus directly to the cytoplasm • Consists of a chain of nucleotides whose sequence is exactly complementary to one of the strands of DNA

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Types of RNA
– Transfer RNA (tRNA)
• Containing from 73 to 93 nucleotides per chain • There is at least one different tRNA for each of the 20 amino acids • Transports amino acids to the site of protein synthesis in the ribosomes

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Types of RNA
– Ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
• RNA in complexed with proteins in ribosomes

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Types of RNA
– Ribozymes
• Catalytic RNA • Catalyze the splicing of mRNA

STRUCTURE OF DNA AND RNA
• Exons
– Coding sequences – “expressed sequences”

• Introns
– Noncoding sequences – “Intervening sequences”

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