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nucleobases

Sunday 12 March 2006

Nucleobases are the parts of RNA and DNA that are involved in pairing up (see also base pairs). These include cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine (DNA) and uracil (RNA). These are abbreviated as C, G, A, T, and U, respectively.

Uracil replaces thymine in RNA. These two bases are identical except that uracil lacks the 5’ methyl group. Adenine and guanine belong to the double-ringed class of molecules called purines (abbreviated as R). Cytosine, thymine, and uracil are all pyrimidines (abbreviated as Y).

A nucleobase covalently bound to the 1’ carbon of a ribose or deoxyribose is called a nucleoside, and a nucleoside with one or more phosphate groups attached at the 5’ carbon is called a nucleotide.

See also

- nucleoside
- nucleotide
- DNA
- RNA