You all might know about the building blocks of life but do you know what is the building block of nucleic acids and the building block of proteins? Well, nucleic acids are biomolecular particles found in our bodies. It is responsible for the genetic information of our bodies. In this article, you will know about the answer to these questions related to the building blocks of life. Let’s begin and discuss nucleic acids and the types of nucleic acids in detail.
1. What is meant by Nucleic Acids?
Nucleic acid is a chemical compound that is found in our bodies naturally. Phosphoric acid, organic bases like pyrimidines and purines, and sugars are formed by the breakdown of nucleic acids. They carry the main information to the cells and also act as directors of the process of synthesis of proteins. All the inherited characteristics of living beings are determined by nucleic acids.
But do you know what is the building block of nucleic acids and how they can be classified? So, nucleic acids can be classified into two categories- ribonucleic acid which is responsible for protein synthesis-like processes, and deoxyribonucleic acid which is responsible for the living organism’s genes. The genetic information is transmitted by nucleic acids which are also termed transmitters. So, what is the building block of nucleic acids? The structure is a long chain called poly nucleotides composed of nucleotides. Phosphodiester linkages are present as the linkage between the nucleotides which result in the polymerization and formation of nucleic acid. (See What are the Two Primary Sources of Energy that Power Living Systems?)
2. What are Types of Nucleic Acids?Photo by Braňo on Unsplash
The two types of nucleic acids are known as DNA and RNA. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid which is the primary genetic material found in all living species. It is a two-strand molecule of nucleic acid. In the cells of plants and animals, DNA is present in the chromosomes, chloroplast, and mitochondria as well. In eukaryotes, DNA can be found with histone proteins. The widely accepted structure of DNA is given by Watson and Crick as the double helical and double-stranded model.
RNA stands for ribonucleic acid which is found as genetic material in only a few viruses like retroviruses. The cytoplasm of cells contains RNA and also can be found in the nucleoplasm and nucleolus. It is a polynucleotide structure with a single strand. The phosphodiester linkages bond the large number of ribonucleotides which form a strand of RNA. Pairs are formed by Guanine-cytosine and Uracil-adenine respectively. RNA is of three types, that is transfer, messenger, and ribosomal. (See What are the Monomers of the Carbohydrates Lipids Proteins and Nucleic Acids?)
3. What is the Building Block of Nucleic Acids?
The building block of nucleic acids is the nucleotide which is an organic molecule comprising at least one phosphate group, 5 carbon sugars, and a nitrogen base. Long chains of nucleotides are essential polymers called DNA and RNA which are the two categories of nucleic acids. So, now you know what is the building block of nucleic acids but how can you differentiate between the types of nucleic acids having the same building block?
The nucleic acid in which the compound is deoxyribose and the bases are thymine, cytosine, adenine, and guanine is the DNA while the nucleic acid in which the compound is ribose and the bases are thymine, cytosine, uracil, and Guanine is the RNA. (See Why is DNA Replication Critical to the Survival of Organisms?)
4. Are the Building Blocks of Nucleic Acids Amino Acids?
No. The building block of nucleic acids is not an amino acid, instead amino acid is the building block of proteins, so then, what is the building block of nucleic acids? They are called nucleotides. Must read What Contribution did Matthias Schleiden make to the Cell Theory?
5. What is the Building Block of Proteins?
The building block of proteins is the amino acid or amino carboxylic acids that are formed by organic molecule grouping. Amino acids contain an amino group which is the most important component that is a nitrogen molecule, a carboxyl group is a two-carbon bond in which one carbon is in attachment with the amino group and the other carbon makes the carboxyl group.
Biological activity can be affected profoundly by amino acids due to their acid-base behavior and amino acids are joined together by peptide bonds to form proteins. This bond is a covalent bond formed by the carboxyl group and the amino group confirms polypeptides by joining with each other to form a chain that develops a protein structure. Hence, a single protein can have several amino acid sequences. (See What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Sexual Reproduction?)
6. Are Nucleic Acids the Building Blocks of Proteins?Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
No. The building block of proteins is the organic molecule group called amino acids. All physiological and biological processes require protein. Amino acids are put together in a specific structure and the bonds are arranged in order so that they can form a protein.
The polypeptide chain is the linear arrangement of amino acids in proteins. A single polypeptide chain or multiple polypeptide chains can form proteins. This structure can be recorded in DNA form. Amino acids comprise carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen organic compounds. Containing a carboxyl and an amine as functional groups, the backbone of amino acid is the central carbon atom which is also known as the alpha carbon. Long chains of amino acids form proteins which are characterized by the arrangement of the amino acids. Peptide bonds are amine, and carboxyl bonds and these peptide bonds are responsible for forming the polypeptide chains called proteins. Also, check What is the pH of Concentrated Nitric Acid?
7. What are the Building Blocks of DNA called?
The building blocks of DNA are called nucleotides which comprise a sugar group, a phosphate group, and any of the nitrogen bases from adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. The linear arrangement of nucleotides changes with the alternation of sugar and phosphate groups to form the DNA strand. The sequence of the nitrogen bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine determines the DNA’s biological instructions. (See Why are The Cells Generally of a Small Size?)
8. What is the Building Block of RNA?
Besides wondering what is the building block of nucleic acids, note that the building block of RNA is also nucleotides which comprise a sugar group, a phosphate group, and any of the nitrogen bases from adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil. Out of these, Uracil and adenine are the major building blocks of RNA forming a base pair. (See What does the Word Queue describe in Cell Biology?)
9. What are the Building Blocks of Life?
The building blocks of life are called the cells which are the functional, biological, and structural units responsible for an organism’s organs. An organism is formed by a series of tissues which is formed by a series of cells together. These cells are very tiny and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Trillions of cells are present inside the human body having different functions and tasks including nerve cells, skin cells, blood cells, and many more. Cells rely on proteins, vitamins, and minerals to function properly.
So, the building blocks of life universally can be carbons which can form stable complex molecules within themselves and with nitrogen and oxygen resulting in unique molecules. The three main building blocks of life are proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. (See How the Cell can Read the Blueprint of its DNA?)
10. Why DNA is called Building Blocks of Life?
DNAs are called the building blocks of life because they contain nucleotides which are the units of biological building blocks. Your genes and inherited materials are contained by the DNA that makes your unique personality therefore, DNAs are vital for all living organisms, and they are said to be the building blocks of life. Check out What are Advantages of Cloning?