Nucleic Acids and component units

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deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA):

Nucleic acids made up of nucleotide units having a 2-deoxy-[alpha]-D-ribosyl component. BNRD Rule N-1.3 (p. 110).

nucleic acids:*

Macromolecules, the major organic matter of the nuclei of biological cells, made up of nucleotide units, and hydrolysable into certain pyrimidine or purine bases (usually adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine, uracil), D-ribose or 2-deoxy-D-ribose,and phosphoric acid. See nucleotides, ribonucleic acids. BNRD, Rule N-1.3 (p. 110).

Y = H or OH


Proteins having nucleic acids as prosthetic groups, and thus yielding nucleic acids (or their cleavage products) as well as amino acids on hydrolytic cleavage.


Ribosyl or deoxyribosyl derivatives (rarely, other glycosyl derivatives) of certain pyrimidine or purine bases. They are thus glycosylamines or N-glycosides related to nucleotides by the lack of phosphorylation. It has also become customary to include among nucleosides analogous substances in which the glycosyl group is attached to carbon rather than nitrogen ('C-nucleosides'). See also nucleic acids. BNRD Rule N-2.3 (p. 110).

Y = H, a deoxyribonucleotide
Y = OH, a ribonucleotide


Compounds formally obtained by esterification of the 3' or 5' hydroxy group of nucleosides with phosphoric acid. They are the monomers of nucleic acids and are formed from them by hydrolytic cleavage. BNRD Rules N-1.1, N-2.4 (p. 109, 111).

Y = H, a deoxyribonucleotide; Y = OH, a ribonucleotide

oligonucleotides:* See oligo and nucleotides. BNRD Rule N-3.3 (p. 111).

purine bases:

Purine and its substitution derivatives, especially naturally occurring examples. The customary numbering shown below is not systematic. NOC Rule B-2.11.


pyrimidine bases:

Pyrimidine and its substitution derivatives, especially naturally occurring examples.


ribonucleic acids (RNA):

Naturally occurring polyribonucleotides. See also nucleic acids, nucleosides, nucleotides, ribonucleotides. BNRD Rule N-1.3 (p. 110).


Nucleotides in which the glycosyl group is a ribosyl group. BNRD Rule N-1.1 (p. 109). See also nucleotides.

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