Ch2

Figure 6. The detail of coupling between base, sugar, and phosphate in deoxyribonucleic acid.

RNA (mENA) serves as an intermediary for carrying genetic messengers from the DNA to the ribosome where protein synthesis takes place. Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) serves both structural and functional roles in the ribosome; it is diverse, both in terms of its size and structure. Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a group of small molecules that have a central role in protein synthesis. The multifunctional character of RNA, particularly the involvement of RNA in enzymatic processes, had led to the hypothesis that life on earth evolved from RNA, and that RNA had both the genetic and catalytic functions commonly associated with DNA and protein, respectively.

The functional diversity of RNA is directly related to its structural diversity. In contrast to DNA, RNA molecules are synthesized as single-stranded polynucleotides that fold to give complex tertiary structures. These structures, which incorporate hairpins, loops, bulges, and junctions between single-stranded and double-stranded regions, exhibit long-range interactions within the folded tertiary structure.

OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF NUCLEIC ACID Ultraviolet Absorption

Figure 7 shows the absorption spectra of some bases of nucleic acids. From this figure one can see that the ab

.Guanine

Cytosinel

.Guanine

Cytosinel

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