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A nucleotide consists of a nitrogen-containing base, a 5-carbon sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. Carbons occupy four vertices of the pentagon, and are numbered counterclockwise from 1' ("one-prime"), the point of attachment of the base, to 5', the point of attachment of the phosphate. The sugar depicted is ribose; Deoxyribose has an H instead of an OH at the 2' position, indicated by the box.

nucleotide with three phosphates attached. Deoxycytosine monophosphate (dCMP) is a DNA nucleotide with one phosphate attached.

Adenosine triphosphate, ATP, is the universal energy currency of cells. The breakdown of energy-rich nutrients is coupled to ATP synthesis, allowing temporary energy storage and transfer. When the ATP is later broken back down to ADP or AMP (adenosine diphosphate or monophosphate), it provides energy to power cell reactions such as protein synthesis or cell movement.

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