A nucleotide is the basic building block of nucleic acids. RNA and DNA are polymers made of long chains of nucleotides. A nucleotide consists of a sugar molecule (either ribose in RNA or deoxyribose in DNA) attached to a phosphate group and a nitrogen-containing base.
Nucleotides are in particular essential for replication of DNA and transcription of RNA in rapidly dividing stages. Nucleotides are also essential in providing the cellular energy sources (ATP and GTP), and are involved in numerous other metabolic roles.
Nucleotides are named based on the number of phosphate residues they contain. For example, a nucleotide that has an adenine base and three phosphate residues would be named adenosine triphosphate (ATP). If the nucleotide has two phosphates, it would be adenosine diphosphate (ADP).
Each nucleotide, in turn, is made up of a nitrogenous base, a pentose sugar, and a phosphate.
There are four nucleotides, or bases, in DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).
A nucleotide is made up of three parts: a phosphate group, a 5-carbon sugar, and a nitrogenous base. The four nitrogenous bases in DNA are adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. RNA contains uracil, instead of thymine.
A molecule consisting of a nitrogen-containing base (adenine, guanine, thymine, or cytosine in DNA; adenine, guanine, uracil, or cytosine in RNA), a phosphate group, and a sugar (deoxyribose in DNA; ribose in RNA).
Functioning of Nucleotides:
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An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), uracil (U), cytosine (C), or guanine (G).