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What is a Nucleotide?

Deoxyribonucleic acid, fondly recognized as DNA, is a molecule in the form of a twin helix, i m sorry is responsible for storing hereditary information in the cell of all living organisms. Most human being know or should know this. But what is DNA make of exactly?


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Figure 1: The double-helix the the DNA

DNA, and also other main point acids such together RNA, are comprised of nucleotides. Nucleotides space the structure blocks of DNA and RNA. The structure ofDNA’s can be visualized or thought of favor a ladder. If we proceed with this analogy, each “step or rung” of this ladder is made up of a wire of nucleotides, in a very certain and regulated order. Every nucleotide, in turn, is consisted of of a nitrogenous base, a pentose sugar, and also a phosphate. InFigure 2, the nitrogenous base is enclosed in the red square top top the right, while the phosphate is fastened in the blue square on the left. The remainder of the molecule forms the pentose sugar. This specific molecule is adenine; we will find out more about this later.

You are watching: Which of the following is not a part of a nucleotide

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Figure 2: The chemistry assembly the the three components of the nucleotide, the phosphate (blue box), nitrogenous base (red box) and also the pentose sugar. This certain nucleotide is adenine

The assembly the nucleotides (1) differentiates them native nucleosides, which perform not save a phosphate group (in the blue box); (2) enables the nucleotide to attach to various other nucleotides when the nitrogenous base forms a hydrogen link with an additional nucleotide’s nitrogenous base; and (3) permits the phosphate to type a phosphodiester link with another nucleotide’s pentose sugar. This outcomes in a complex double-stranded “string or ladder”, as seen in figure1.This is the communication of the kind of DNA.

The Nitrogenous Base

The native “nucleotide” was an initial coined by P.A. Levene, that observed the DNA had four comparable building blocks, in roughly equal amounts. These structure blocks are what we now recognize as the nitrogenous bases uncovered in DNA and also RNA.

A nitrogenous basic is a molecule include nitrogen, through the chemistry properties the a base due to a pair of electron on the nitrogen atom. These nitrogenous bases room Adenine (A), Cytosine (C) and Guanine (G) i beg your pardon are uncovered in both RNA and DNA and then Thymine (T) i beg your pardon is only discovered in DNA and Uracil (U), i m sorry takes the location of Thymine in RNA.

Nitrogenous bases deserve to be additional classified together pyrimidines or purines. Cytosine, uracil and thymine room all pyrimidines. That is, your molecular framework comprises a nitrogenous base in the form of a six-member single ring. Guanine and also adenine, ~ above the various other hand, are purines. This contain a nitrogenous base in the type of a nine-member twin ring. In short, pyrimidines have actually only one ring while purines have actually two (figure 3).

Now the you gain the general idea of purines matches pyrimidines let’s speak biochemistry. A purine is a heterocyclic fragrant organic compound the comprises the a pyrimidine ring that is join to one imidazole ring. The next logical question, the course, becomes“what climate is a pyrimidine, biochemically speaking”? Well, pyrimidines space a class of nitrogenous link that have only one heterocyclic ring.


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Figure 3: Chemical framework of purines (A, G) and also pyrimidines (C, T/U)

Nitrogenous bases type base pairs with each various other in DNA: Adenine always pairs v thymine; guanine is constantly bonded to cytosine. If you were paying attention, you’ll notification that this means that a pyrimidine is always bonded come a purine. The bond created is a hydrogen bond, and also is responsible because that the rungs developed in the DNA “ladder”.This style is really important for the perfect building of the DNA molecule. Otherwise, there would certainly be bumps and crevices on the molecule. This wouldn’t do at all since the very careful packaging, unwinding, and also winding the the DNA would be a mess through some more difficult to keep than others.

This pairing is, therefore, crucial for genetic function, and also is the foundation for DNA replication and also gene expression. The stimulate in which base pairs show up determines the work of your physiology. In protein synthesis, because that example, the password is check out in triplicates where 3 bases code for a certain amino acid. Deletions and insertions of nucleotides in this situation can lead to a complete frame transition disrupting the synthesis of the protein in question. Substitutions can additionally be problem although less so, as they may readjust the identification of one amino acid in the protein code.

The Phosphate Group

The phosphate group (PO4) is what differentiates a nucleotide from a nucleoside. This enhancement changes the nucleoside indigenous a base to one acid. This phosphate teams are important, as they type phosphodiester bonds through the pentose street to develop the political parties of the DNA “ladder”. This is critical, together the hydrogen binding which join the nitrogenous bases room not very strong. This sides of the ladder room hydrophilic (attracted come water), enabling the DNA molecule come bond v water.

What are Nucleoside Diphosphates and also Triphosphates?

You recognize that a nucleotide is distinguished from a nucleoside by one phosphate group. Accordingly, a nucleotide can also be a nucleoside monophosphate(figure 4). If much more phosphates bond to the nucleotide (nucleoside monophosphate) that can come to be a nucleoside diphosphate (if two phosphates bond), or a nucleoside triphosphate (if three phosphates bond), such together adenosine tree phosphate (ATP). ATP is a crucial component the respiration and also photosynthesis, amongst other processes.


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Figure 4: The molecular structure of nucleoside mono-, di- and triphosphate

A polynucleotide is a chain of much more than 20 nucleotides join by a phosphodiester bond.

The Pentose Sugar

The pentose sugar is a 5-carbon monosaccharide with the formula (CH2O)5. These kind two groups: aldopentoses and ketopentoses. The pentose sugars found in nucleotides are aldopentoses. Deoxyribose and also ribose are two of these sugars.

These sugars differ in DNA and RNA. The sugar in DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, which consists of deoxyribose. The sugar in RNA is ribonucleic acid, which has ribose. The structural difference in between these sugars is that ribonucleic acid includes a hydroxyl (-OH) group, conversely, deoxyribonucleic acid contains only a hydrogen atom in the place of this hydroxyl group. Nucleotides which contain deoxyribonucleic mountain are well-known as deoxyribonucleotides. Those comprise ribonucleic mountain are well-known as ribonucleotides. Thus, the sugar molecule determines whether a nucleotide forms component of a DNA molecule or a RNA molecule. Below is a perform of the names offered to the sugars found in RNA and also DNA.

AAdenosineAdenylic acidDeoxyadenosineDeoxyadenylic acid
CCytidineCytidylic acidDeoxycytidineDeoxycytidylic acid
GGuanosineGuanylic acidDeoxyguanosineDeoxyguanylic acid
UUridineUridylic acid
TDeoxythymidineDeoxythymidylic acid

Putting it all Together

To recap, we have covered what a nucleotide is, what the three components of a nucleotide are, we have covered the specifically, of nitrogenous bases, pentose sugars, and phosphates, and also we have disputed how nucleotides differ in DNA and RNA.

The phosphate is linked to the pentose sugar; the pentose sugar is associated to the nitrogenous base pair (A, C, G or T), i m sorry in DNA is linked to its basic pair partner. Something like this:


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Figure 5: Nucleotide bonding in the DNA molecule through hydrogen and phosphate bonds.

The chemical framework of the phosphate, pentose sugar, and also nitrogenous bases of adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine are shown above (figure 5).

During DNA synthesis, a hydrogen bond join A (adenine) come T (thymine), and also C (cytosine) come G (guanine) (figure 5). In RNA, uracil would change thymine.

A DNA strand is developed when the nitrogenous bases space joined through hydrogen bonds, and also the phosphates that one group are join to the pentose street of the next group with a phosphodiester bond (figure 5).

The twin helix form is the an outcome of the hydrogen bonds in between the nitrogen bases, which type the “rungs” the the ladder while the phosphate and pentose sugar (forming phosphodiester bonds) kind the upright components of the ladder.

To conclude, nucleotides are necessary as they form the structure blocks of main point acids, such together DNA and also RNA. Nucleotides are comprised of 3 parts. The first is a distinct nitrogenous base, i beg your pardon is adenine, cytosine, guanine or thymine. In RNA, thymine is changed by uracil. This nitrogenous bases room either purines or pyrimidines. Base pairs are developed when adenine forms a hydrogen bond v thymine, or cytosine creates a hydrogen bond with guanine. The second component of a nucleotide is the phosphate, i beg your pardon differentiates the nucleotide molecule from a nucleoside molecule. This phosphate is essential in the development of phosphodiester bonds, which connect several nucleotides in a direct fashion. The third part of a nucleotide is the pentose (5 carbon) sugar. The pentose sugars found in nucleotides room aldopentoses: ribose in RNA and also deoxyribose in DNA. These sugars identify whether the nucleotide will type part that a DNA or a RNA molecule, and type part that the phosphodiester bonds which connect several nucleotides. The combination of hydrogen bonds between nitrogenous bases and also phosphodiester bonds between phosphates and also sugars is what gives DNA its double helix shape.

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