Updated: 5/1/2017

Nucleic Acid Structure

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Overview
  • Nitrogenous bases
    • purines
      • structure
        • 2 rings
      • examples
        • adenine (A), guanine (G)
          • found in DNA and RNA
        • xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid
          • not found in either DNA or RNA
    • pyrimidines
      • structure
        • 1 ring
      • examples
        • cytosine (C)
          • found in DNA and RNA
        • thymine (T)
          • found in DNA
        • uracil (U)
          • found in RNA
  • Nucleoside
    • nitrogenous base + ribose
  • Nucelotide
    • nitrogenous base + ribose + phosphate
      • 3'-5' phosphodiester bond connects ribose and phosphate
  • DNA 
    • nucleotide interactions
      • H-bonding
        • G with C
          • 3 H-bonds
          • stronger
        • A with T
          • 2 H-bonds
          • weaker
          • A with U in RNA
      • melting or denaturing
        • H-bonds disrupted with changes in temperature, pH, chemical agents
        • ↑ GC content = ↑ melting temperature
        • DNA can form correct structure again if disrupting agent is removed slowly (reanealing)
          • key principle of Southern blotting and PCR
          • see Biological lab techniques section
    • strands
      • antiparallel
      • right handed double helix
    • Chargaff's rules
      • A % = T/U %
      • G % = C %
  • Clinical importance
    • anticancer drugs
      • can intercalate DNA
        • daunorubicin, doxorubicin
      • can bind DNA
        • cisplatin
 

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