What are the three main components of a nucleotide?
There are only three components to a nucleotide:
- A sugar (called deoxyribose)
- A Phosphate (1 phosphorus atom joined to 4 oxygen atoms)
- One of 4 bases (Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine)
Nucleic acids are polynucleotides—that is, long chainlike molecules composed of a series of nearly identical building blocks called nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogen-containing aromatic base attached to a pentose (five-carbon) sugar, which is in turn attached to a phosphate group.
- Carbohydrates are:
- a source of energy for the body e.g. glucose and a store of energy, e.g. starch in plants.
- building blocks for polysaccharides (giant carbohydrates), e.g. cellulose in plants and glycogen in the human body.
- components of other molecules eg DNA, RNA, glycolipids, glycoproteins, ATP.
- Nucleic acids also typically contain phosphorous, and nitrogen plays an important structural role in nucleic acids and proteins. The proteins, being made up a diverse set of amino acids, have, in addition to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, the elements sulfur and selenium.
- The two main types of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). DNA is the genetic material found in all living organisms, ranging from single-celled bacteria to multicellular mammals. It is found in the nucleus of eukaryotes and in the chloroplasts and mitochondria.
A nucleotide consists of three things:
- A nitrogenous base, which can be either adenine, guanine, cytosine, or thymine (in the case of RNA, thymine is replaced by uracil).
- A five-carbon sugar, called deoxyribose because it is lacking an oxygen group on one of its carbons.
- One or more phosphate groups.
- The nucleotides have a similar structure with three 'subunits': A phosphate group. A sugar group : deoxyribose in DNA and ribose in RNA. A nitrogenous base : adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine or uracil.
- In structural biology, a protein subunit is a single protein molecule that assembles (or "coassembles") with other protein molecules to form a protein complex. Some naturally occurring proteins have a relatively small number of subunits and therefore described as oligomeric, for example hemoglobin or DNA polymerase.
- Each chain is made up of repeating subunits called nucleotides that are held together by chemical bonds. There are four different types of nucleotides in DNA, and they differ from one another by the type of base that is present: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C).
Updated: 2nd October 2019