Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic

Biochemistry Online

Reactivity in Chemistry

Metabolic Pathways

CT0 - N. The Cell:  Nucleic Acids

Henry Jakubowski

Figure:  A Eukaryotic Cell

Mitochondrion Link Ribosome CellImageMap

Use with permission from  Liliana Torres .  Also at

Nucleic acids are polymers of deoxyribonucleotides (DNA) or ribonucleotides (RNA).  DNA contains the genetic code that when transcribed into RNA followed by translation of the RNA for around 22,000 protein.  Only about 2% of the 3.2 billion base pairs of DNA encodes protein. The function of 80% of the remaining genome has recently been found to regulate the transcription of DNA, mostly through various types of RNA transcribed from the DNA. 

The following site will show you the "life" history of nucleic acids in cells.

The sites linked above are written and maintained by Henry V. Jakubowski, Ph.D., College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University.  These materials are available for educational use.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1043566.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Biochemistry Online by Henry Jakubowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.