What is the difference between nucleic acids and amino acids?

Asked By: Birame Thillman | Last Updated: 24th January, 2020
Category: science genetics
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Proteins are made up of a series of amino acids. Nucleic Acids (RNA and DNA) are made up of a series of nucleotides. The center of an amino acid is the carbon bonded to four different groups. The fourth group, R, is different for each amino acid.

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Also know, what is the difference between an amino acid and a nucleotide?

Difference Between Amino Acid and Nucleotide. The key difference between amino acid and nucleotide is that the amino acid is the building block of proteins while the nucleotide is the building block of nucleic acids. Macromolecule is a large molecule resulting due to polymerization of its monomers.

Similarly, why is it called a nucleic acid? DNA or RNA are called nucleic acids because of the acidic nature of the phosphate group attached to them. Hence it's the acidic part of the molecule that dominates, and that is why we know DNA as an acid.

Hereof, are to proteins as are to nucleic acids?

Proteins' folded structures have the basic unit as amino acids. Nucleic acids are part of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) with basic units being the nucleotides. Nucleic acids are transferred to the next generation, but the proteins are not.

What is the difference between an amino acid and a protein?

Amino acids are called peptides, and they're small subunits made from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other compounds. Proteins are also called polypeptides, and they're chains of amino acids linked together — chains that can contain thousands upon thousands of amino acids.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Is DNA a protein?

Each DNA sequence that contains instructions to make a protein is known as a gene. The size of a gene may vary greatly, ranging from about 1,000 bases to 1 million bases in humans. Genes only make up about 1 percent of the DNA sequence. Each DNA sequence that contains instructions to make a protein is known as a gene.

Why do codons have 3 bases?

Codons are nucleotide triplets that encode for amino acids. Thus, in order for the 4 nucleotides to account for all 20 amino acids, a minimum of 3 base pairs are required. Can aminoacyl tRNA-synthetase structure be modified such that the triplet codon correspond to different amino acid than the ones on DNA codon table?

Is ATP a nucleic acid?

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleic acid molecule that remains a single nucleotide. Unlike a DNA or RNA nucleotide, the ATP nucleotide has three phosphate groups attached to its ribose sugar.

Why do we only have 20 amino acids?


The genetic code is the universal language that relates base triplets in DNA to amino acids in proteins. Subtracting for a necessary stop codon, organisms could code for up to 63 different amino acids. One could argue that 20 is simply good enough, but several species use up to 22 residues to synthesize proteins.

What is full form of RNA?

RNA: Ribonucleic Acid
RNA stands for Ribonucleic Acid. It is one of the major biological macromolecules that is essential for all known forms of life. It performs various important biological roles related to protein synthesis such as transcription, decoding, regulation and expression of genes.

What is DNA made of?

DNA is made up of molecules called nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group, a sugar group and a nitrogen base. The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The order of these bases is what determines DNA's instructions, or genetic code.

How many codons equal amino acids?

The nucleotide triplet that encodes an amino acid is called a codon. Each group of three nucleotides encodes one amino acid. Since there are 64 combinations of 4 nucleotides taken three at a time and only 20 amino acids, the code is degenerate (more than one codon per amino acid, in most cases).

What is the relationship between nucleic acids and proteins?

Protein and Nucleic Acid Relationship
The major relationship between the two has to do with protein production -- DNA contains the information that a cell uses, with the help of RNA, to make protein.

What is the structure of nucleic acids?


Basic structure
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.

What are the functions of proteins?

Proteins are a class of macromolecules that perform a diverse range of functions for the cell. They help in metabolism by providing structural support and by acting as enzymes, carriers, or hormones. The building blocks of proteins (monomers) are amino acids.

What is the function of nucleic acids?

The functions of nucleic acids have to do with the storage and expression of genetic information. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) encodes the information the cell needs to make proteins. A related type of nucleic acid, called ribonucleic acid (RNA), comes in different molecular forms that participate in protein synthesis.

Why do we need nucleic acids?

The nucleic acids, which include deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, and ribonucleic acid, or RNA, encode genetic information and allow humans and other organisms to follow their genetic instructions. Nucleic acids also allow you to pass along your genetic information to your offspring.

What does 5 and 3 mean in DNA?

The 5' and 3' mean "five prime" and "three prime", which indicate the carbon numbers in the DNA's sugar backbone. The 5' carbon has a phosphate group attached to it and the 3' carbon a hydroxyl (-OH) group. This asymmetry gives a DNA strand a "direction".

How are proteins made?


The information to produce a protein is encoded in the cell's DNA. When a protein is produced, a copy of the DNA is made (called mRNA) and this copy is transported to a ribosome. Ribosomes read the information in the mRNA and use that information to assemble amino acids into a protein.

What is the relationship between nucleic acids and DNA?

Explanation: Nucleic acids are a complex organic substance found in the nucleus of the body, which stores genetic information, usually in the form of DNA or RNA . They each thousands of 5 -carbon sugars, phosphate (PO3−4) groups, and nitrogenous bases (adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine, or uracil).

Where are nucleic acids found?

There are two types of nucleic acids which are polymers found in all living cells. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is found mainly in the nucleus of the cell, while Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is found mainly in the cytoplasm of the cell although it is usually synthesized in the nucleus.