Nucleotides In DNA Structure: Comparative Analysis Across It


Nucleotides in DNA structure are the basic monomeric units or we can say the building blocks of DNA. Here we are going to discuss all possible aspects of the nucleotides in DNA structure.

Nucleotides are basically an estar of nucleoside and phosphate groups. Nucleotides in DNA structure is made up of three major components, such as a deoxyribose sugar, a nitrogenous base (purine or pyrimidine) and a phosphate unit. According to the existing nitrogenous base there are four nucleotides in DNA structure, such as-

Adenosine monophosphate (AMP) or (dAMP)

Adenosine monophosphate (AMP) or (dAMP) is one the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. AMP has three major components in its structure ,such as a deoxyribose sugar, a purine base adenine (A)and a phosphate group. The purine base adenine (A) of AMP makes a complementary base pair with the pyrimidine base thymine (T). That is why the Adenine (A) of AMP nucleotides of any one DNA strand, makes hydrogenous double bonds with the Thymine (T) of another strand of the same DNA.

Guanosine monophosphate (GMP) or (dGMP)

Guanosine monophosphate (GMP) or (dGMP) is one of the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. GMP is typically made up of three different units such as a deoxyribose sugar, a purine base guanine and a phosphate group. The purine base guanine (G) makes a complementary base pair with  the pyrimidine base cytosine (C). That is why the guanine (G) of the GMP of any one DNA strand, makes hydrogenous triple bonds with the base cytosine (C)  of the other strand of same DNA.

Cytidine monophosphate (CMP) or (dCMP)

Cytidine monophosphate (CMP) or (dCMP) is one of the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. CMP is typically made up of three different units such as a deoxyribose sugar, a pyrimidine base cytosine (C) and a phosphate group. The pyrimidine base cytosine (c) makes a complementary base pair with the purine base guanine (G). That is why the cytosine (C) of the CMP of any one DNA strand, makes hydrogenous triple bonds with the base guanine (G)  of the other strand of same DNA.

Thymidine monophosphate (TMP) or (dTMP)

Thymidine monophosphate (TMP) or (dTMP) is one of the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. TMP is typically made up of three different units such as a deoxyribose sugar, a pyrimidine base thymine (T) and a phosphate group. The pyrimidine base thymine (T) is complementary to the purine base adenine (A). That is why the Thymine (T) of the TMP of any one DNA strand, makes hydrogenous double bonds with the base adenine (A)  of the other strand of same DNA.

These four nucleotides attached with each other in some specific sequences, made the polynucleotide DNA chains. There are two Purines (Adenine and Guanine) that make complementary hydrogenous bonds with pyrimidines (Cytosine and Thymine). The nucleotides are attached to each other by creating phospho-diester bonds between the deoxyribose sugar and the phosphate group of every first and second nucleotides. The 3’ carbon of first nucleotide deoxyribose sugar, is attached with the 5′ carbon of the second nucleotide, making the polynucleotide DNA helix.

Nucleotides in DNA structure

Nucleotides in DNA structure from Wikimedia Commons

How do the four DNA nucleotides differ in structure?

To know how the four nucleotides in DNA structure differ from each other, here we compare them in different aspects individually.

CharacteristicsAdenosine monophosphate (AMP)Guanosine Monophosphate (GMP)Cytidine monophosphate (CMP)Thymidine monophosphate (TMP)
DefinitionAMP is a Nucleotide, typically an ester of phosphoric acid and Adenosine nucleoside.GMP is a Nucleotide, which is typically an ester of phosphoric acid and nucleoside Guanosine.CMP is a Nucleotide in DNA structure which is an ester of phosphoric acid and nucleotide Cytidine.TMP is a Nucleotide typically an ester of phosphoric acid and nucleoside thymidine.
Base typePurinePurinePyrimidinePyrimidine
Complementary baseThymineCytosineGuanineAdenine
StructureIt has a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase adenine (A)and a phosphate group in its structure.It comprises a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase guanine (G)and a phosphate group in its structure.It is composed of a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase cytosine (C) and a phosphate group in its structure.It has a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase thymine (T) and a phosphate group in its structure.
DerivativesAMP is a derivative of ATPGMP is a derivative of GTPCMP is a derivative of CTPTMP is a derivative of TTP
FormulaC10H14N5O7PC10H14N5O8PC9H14N3O8PC10H14N2O8P1−
Molar Mass347.22 g/mol363.223 g·mol−1323.198 g·mol−1321.2005 g mol−1
FunctionsMainly Serve as an energy source of cellMainly act as a second messengerMainly used in nucleic acid synthesis processMainly used in nucleic acids synthesis process and act as enzyme in metabolic processes
Number of making hydrogen bondsDouble bondsTriple bondsTriple bondsDouble bonds
SynonymsAdenosine 5′-monophosphate, 5′-Adenylic acid5′-Guanidylic acid,5′-Guanylic acidCytidylic acid; 5′-Cytidylic acid; Cytidine 5′-monophosphate; Cytidylate;5′-Thymidylic acid
Comparison of nucleotides in DNA structure

The four nucleotides in DNA structure have several similarities and differences between them. Let’s have a closer look at the comparative analysis of nucleotides in DNA structure.

Definition of nucleotides

  • Adenosine monophosphate: Adenosine monophosphate (AMP) or (dAMP) is one the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. AMPis an ester molecule of phosphoric acid and Adenosine nucleoside.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: Guanosine monophosphate (GMP) or (dGMP) is one of the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. GMP is an ester molecule, made of phosphoric acid and nucleoside Guanosine.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: Cytidine monophosphate (CMP) or (dCMP) is one of the four monomeric units of polynucleotide DNA. It is an ester molecule made up of phosphoric acid and nucleotide Cytidine.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: Thymidine monophosphate (TMP) or (dTMP) is a monomeric unit that constructs polynucleotide DNA. Which is typically an ester of phosphoric acid and nucleoside thymidine.

Type of the nucleobase

  • Adenosine monophosphate: It is a purine base.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It is a purine base.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: It is a pyrimidine base.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: It is a pyrimidine base.

Complementary nucleobase

  • Adenosine monophosphate: It makes a complementary base pair with nucleobase thymine in DNA. 
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It makes a complementary base pair with nucleobase cytosine.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: It makes a complementary base pair with nucleobase guanine.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: It makes a complementary base pair with nucleobase adenine.

Structure

  • Adenosine monophosphate: It has a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase adenine (A)and a phosphate group in its structure.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It comprises a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase guanine (G)and a phosphate group in its structure.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: 
  • It is composed of a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase cytosine (C) and a phosphate group in its structure.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: It has a deoxyribose sugar, a nucleobase thymine (T) and a phosphate group in its structure.

Derivatives

  • Adenosine monophosphate: Adenosine monophosphate is a derivative of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecule.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It is a derivative of Guanosine triphosphate (GTP) molecule.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: It is a derivative of Cytidine triphosphate (CTP) molecule.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: Thymidine monophosphate is a derivative of Thymidine triphosphate (TTP) molecule.

Chemical formula

  • Adenosine monophosphate: The chemical formula of Adenosine monophosphate is C10H14N5O7P.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: The chemical formula of Guanosine monophosphate is C10H14N5O8P.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: The chemical formula of Cytidine monophosphate is C9H14N3O8P. 
  • Thymidine monophosphate: The chemical formula of Thymidine monophosphate is C10H14N2O8P1−. 

Mass

  • Adenosine monophosphate: Tye Adenosine monophosphate consists of a molecular weight of 347.22 g/mol.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: The Guanosine monophosphate consist of a molecular weight 363.223 g·mol^−1.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: The Cytidine monophosphate has molecular weight of 323.198 g·mol^−1. 
  • Thymidine monophosphate : Thymidine monophosphate has a molecular weight of 321.2005 g mol^−1.

Function

  • Adenosine monophosphate: The main function of Adenosine monophosphate is to serve as an energy source of cells. It releases and transports energy within the cell.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: Guanosine monophosphate also serves as an energy source of cells. It mainly acts as a second messenger in signal transduction procedure.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: Cytidine monophosphate also has some activities of second messenger, in metabolic pathways. It is mainly used in the nucleic acid synthesis process.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: Thymidine monophosphate is majorly used for DNA synthesis process but most of its activities remain unknown till now.

Number of making hydrogen bonds

  • Adenosine monophosphate: It makes hydrogenous double bonds with thymine of another strand of the same DNA.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It makes hydrogenous triple bonds with pyrimidine cytosine of another strand of the same DNA.
  • Cytidine monophosphate: It makes complementary hydrogen triple bonds with purine guanine of another strand of same DNA.
  • Thymidine monophosphate: It makes complementary hydrogen double bonds with adenine of another strand of same DNA.

Synonyms

  • Adenosine monophosphate: It is also referred to as Adenosine 5′-monophosphate or  5′-Adenylic acid, etc.
  • Guanosine monophosphate: It is also known as 5′-Guanidylic acid, 5′-Guanylic acid.
  • Cytidine monophosphate : It is also refer as Cytidylic acid; Cytidine 5′-monophosphate or Cytidine 5′-phosphate or as Cytidylate;
  • Thymidine monophosphate : It is also known as 5′-Thymidylic acid.

Here we compare all the nucleotides with each other and find some similarities and differences between all of them. 

To know more about Nucleotide structure read our article of Nucleotide Structure | A detailed insight and its significance

Basic structure of nucleotides in DNA from Wikimedia Commons

Where are nucleotides found in DNA?

The DNA is a polymer molecule made up of several nucleotide monomers.

The nucleotides are found in the structure of DNA, which non-randomly attach with each other by forming phosphodiester bonds between them. It forms the sugar phosphate backbone of the DNA strand which gives support to the strands. That means the whole DNA is constructed by several nucleotide monomeric units.

To know more about DNA structure read our article on DNA Structure | A detailed insight with all crucial aspects

What is the role of nucleotides in DNA structure?

The nucleotides are the core part of a DNA strand. The whole DNA comprises the nucleotides monomeric units.

The nucleotides form the whole structure of DNA. Every single nucleotide acts as a building block to construct DNA. It holds the whole structure by forming phospho-diester bonds and also joins DNA strands by base pairing with hydrogenous bonds. Every single genetic information of DNA is actually carried by the nucleobases of nucleotides.

Nucleotides in DNA structure from Wikimedia Commons

Which structure is found in the nucleotides of DNA but not in RNA?

The DNA and RNA are both made up of several nucleotide monomeric units.

The DNA is composed of four kinds of nucleobases, such as adenine (A), Guanine (G), cytosine (C) and Thymine (T). The RNA has most of all these nucleobases except thymine (T). Instead of Thymine (T), RNA has Uracil (U) in its structure, meaning Thymidine monophosphate (TMP) is found in DNA structure but absent in RNA.

To know more about nucleosides read our article on Nucleoside | Its important structural properties with 10 FAQs

As a whole we can say that nucleotides in DNA structure are the building blocks of DNA which construct the whole nucleic acid. Among all the four different nucleotides, Thymidine monophosphate is only found in DNA not in RNA. Here we compare all the nucleotides in DNA structure and state the analytical information one by one. 

Piyali Das

Hello, I am Piyali Das, pursuing my Post Graduation in Zoology from Calcutta University. I am very passionate on Academic Article writing. My aim is to explain complex things in simple way through my writings for the readers. We can connect through LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/piyali-das-484019216 .

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