chemistry 12th class cbse notes

Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids are chain like polymers of thousands of nucleotide units, hence they are also called polynucleotides.

These are mainly of two types, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Since nucleic acids are long chain polymers of nucleotides, so they are also called polynucleotides

  • DNA is mainly localized in the nucleus, within the chromosome. While small amount is present in cytoplasm. RNA is also present in the nucleus as well as cytoplasm.
  • DNA is mainly used in protein synthesis involving RNA and also a major source of genetic information.
  • DNA contains deoxyribose while RNA contains ribose.

Comparison between DNA and RNA

Comparison between DNA and RNA

Biological Functions Of Nucleic Acids

  • DNA is the chemical basis of heredity and may be regarded as the reserve of genetic information. DNA is exclusively responsible for maintaining the identity of different species of organisms over millions of years.
  • A DNA molecule is capable of self-duplication during cell division and identical DNA strands are transferred to daughter cells.
  • Another important function of nucleic acids is the protein synthesis in the cell.
  • Actually, the proteins are synthesized by various RNA molecules in the cell but the message for the synthesis of a particular protein is present in DNA.


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