Differences between DNA and RNA – DNA vs RNA


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DNA as well as RNA serve as chemical transporters of genetic information found in all living organisms. In all species DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) stores genetic information and then transmits it to the offspring. The RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) is involved in transmitting the genetic code needed for protein synthesis. Certain viruses also use DNA as their material for genetics. DNA is usually found in the nucleus while RNA is located in the cell’s cytoplasm. The main distinction between DNA and RNA is that DNA is composed of deoxyribose within its pentose pentose ring. DNA is composed of ribose within it’s pentose pentose ring.

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA, is the genetic material that makes up many organisms. The majority of DNA is found in the nucleus or nucleoid. There are some that remain in the chloroplast and mitochondria as well. DNA is the source of genetic instructions to regulate the growth of function, reproduction, and development of living organisms.


The backbone of DNA made of sugar-phosphate is created by nitrogenous bases as well as phosphate groups that are attached to the sugar deoxyribose. C-H bonds found in deoxyribose sugar are not as reactive. Thus, DNA is remarkably stable under alkaline conditions. Four distinct nitrogenous bases can be recognized in DNA including Cytosine (C) as well as Guanine (G) and adenine (A) and Thymine (T). The two strands of polynucleotide are joined through hydrogen bonds, which form between the complement bases. Adenine (A) has a relationship with the amino acid thymine (T) while Cytosine (C) is paired with the guanine (G). Therefore, both strands are mutually exclusive. The two strands of polynucleotide are then twisted to create an inverse helix. The strands in the double helix runs across opposite sides, creating two strands that are antiparallel. The opposite ends of the strand are known in the form 5′, and 3 ends as 3. The major groove (22 A wide) and minor groove (12 A wide) can be seen inside the double-helix.

The B-form is the most frequent configuration of DNA in all living organisms. The way in which is the order in which four base pairs are placed across the backbone encodes biological information inside DNA stretches known as genes. DNA synthesizes a duplicate of the DNA, which is used for reproduction. DNA is easily damaged by UV light.


What is RNA?

Ribonucleic acid , also known as RNA, is found mostly in the cells of the cytoplasm. There are also a few within the nucleus. A lot of viruses keep their genetic information in the RNA genome. It plays a crucial role to regulate and express genes.

It is a polynucleotide made of monomers made up of nucleotides, similar to DNA. It has a shorter strand of DNA. Ribose is the sugar that creates the backbone of sugar-phosphate. Ribose has a high degree of reactivity because of the hydroxyl groups in the 2′ region on the pentose rings. Thus, RNA is not stable in alkaline environments. Because of the presence of the 2’OH group, RNA is found in the A-form. A-form geometry creates the deep, narrow main groove, and a narrow and wide minor groove. Four nitrogenous base that are found in the RNA include cytosine (C) and the guanine (G) as well as Adenine (A) and the uracil (U). Like DNA, RNA functions only as a single-stranded molecular the majority of the time, however it is also able to form double-stranded structures, such as hairpin loops through complementary base pairing. For example, Adenine (A) has a relationship with the uracil (U) while the cytosine (C) has a relationship with the guanine (G).


The majority of the functions of RNA display the tertiary structure. The most bioactive RNA types include messenger transcripts (mRNA) as well as transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) as well as tiny nuclear RNA (snRNA) as well as other not-codingRNA (ncRNA). The mRNA, tRNA and rRNA are all related to the process of protein production. The ncRNA plays a role in the process of processing RNA as well as gene regulation. Certain RNAs like ribozymes can catalyze chemical reactions. The small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) play an essential role in the regulation of genes by interference with RNA. Transcription is the procedure by which the synthesis of RNA takes place with DNA as the basis. The enzyme RNA polymerase that initiates the process. The RNA polymerase is not easily damaged by ultraviolet light.

Differences between DNA and RNA – DNA vs RNA

CharacterDNAThe RNA
Full formDeoxyribonucleic AcidRibonucleic Acid
LocationDNA is located in the nucleus. There is a some DNA also found in mitochondria.The nucleolus forms RNA It then migrates into specialized areas in the cytoplasm, based on the kind of RNA that is formed.
StructureThe macromolecule is long and ladder-like, and turns into the double Helix.Contrary from the double-helix design that is found in DNA, RNA is typically single-stranded.
Helix GeometryDNA’s helix geometry is of the b-form.The Helix geometry of RNA is a-form.
NucleotidesEach DNA nucleotide has one of the four nitrogenous bases. They are abbreviated as A (adenine) or G (guanine) or T (thymine) as well as C (cytosine).It contains the base of uracil that is nitrogenous as an alternative to the mineral thymine.
Chain of NucleotidesNucleotide long chainChains that are relatively short
SugarDNA contains deoxyribose sugar.There is an alternative sugar (ribose instead of deoxyribose) in its nucleotides.
Base PairsAdenine And Thymine Pair (A-T)Cytosine along with Guanine couple (C-G)Adenine as well as Uracil couple (A-U)Cytosine along with Guanine combination (C-G)
Ratio of BasesIn the case of DNA:
* Adenine = Thymine
* Guanine is Cytosine
In the event of RNA:
* Adenine Thymine
* Guanine Cytosine
Molecular WeightBetween 2 and 6 millionsBetween 25,000 and 2 million
NumberFor a specific species, the DNA number is constant for each cell.The amount of RNA in a cell may differ from cell to.
MoleculeDNA isn’t usually seen as a single molecular, rather, it is a tightly-connected couple of molecules.It could be one molecule.
PropagationDNA self-replicates.DNA is the DNA that is synthesized in a need-to-know basis.
Major enzyme that is involved in the propagationDNA polymeraseRNA polymerase
The need for a primerPrimer is required to start replication.There is no primer required to make RNA.
The activity of proofreadingPresent.Inactive since RNA polymerase isn’t equipped with capacity to identify mistakes in base pairing.
Polymer lengthDNA is a far larger polymer than the RNA. For instance, a chromosome is a single lengthy DNA molecule, that could be several centimetres in length when untangled.The RNA molecules differ in size, but are smaller than long DNA polymers. A large RNA molecule may be just several thousand base pairs.
Leaves NucleusDNA cannot leave the nucleus.The nucleus of the cell is left empty (mRNA).
Complementary formsComplementary forms usually occur made up of two DNA strands.The RNA strand may create complementary structures when joined with DNA or.
Recycling and destructionDNA is totally protected in the human body i.e. the body kills enzymes that break DNA.RNA strands are constantly created, broken down and reused.
Hydrolyzing enzymeDNaseRNase
Function* Storing genetic information
* Directs protein synthesis
* Defines genetic code
Directly responsible for metabolism and evolution, heredity and differentiation.
• Transferring information about genetics from DNA to proteins
* Carrying it beyond the nucleus
* Translating it into proteins
Function as genetic materialAll organisms, excluding certain viruses, all organisms are affected.Very often (in certain viruses)
Utilization and versatilityMore stable and can hold more complex information over longer durations of time.The RNA gene is more versatile than DNA, able of carrying out many, different tasks within an organism.
StabilityBecause of its deoxyribose sugar which has one less oxygen-rich hydroxyl group DNA is a more durable molecule than the RNA. DNA is stable in alkaline conditions.The RNA, which is an ribose sugar is more sensitive than DNA and is unstable in alkaline conditions. Larger helical grooves in RNA make it more susceptible to attack by enzymes.
The Ultraviolet (UV) SensitivityDNA is susceptible to being damaged through ultraviolet light.DNA is more resistant to damage caused by UV light than DNA.
Mutation RateThe rate of DNA’s mutation is less.The rate of mutations in RNA is higher.
Unusual BasesNeverIt is possible to find it only occasionally
Rate of Renaturation Following MeltingRelatively slowQuick
TypesChromosomal DNA (nuclear DNA) and Extra-chromosomal (plasmid DNA Mt-DNA Chl-DNA, mt- DNA, etc.)Messenger RNA (mRNA) Transfer RNA (tRNA) Ribosomal RNA (rRNA)HnRNA * SnRNA * snoRNA • miRNA

Differences between DNA and RNA – DNA vs RNA

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