What are the smaller subunits that make up nucleic acids?


Quick Answer

Nucleic acids are made of subunits called nucleotides. These consist of a nitrogenous base, pentose and a phospate group. The two types of nucleic acids are DNA, which stores genetic data, and RNA, which codes amino acids and transfers information between DNA and ribosomes.

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Full Answer

The nitrogenous bases consist of adenine, thymine and cytosine for both nucleic acids. DNA also uses guanine, while RNA uses uracil. The bases link together, losing a water molecule in the process, and one of the resulting oxygen atoms in the carbon sugar connects to the phosphorous atom. It is through this process that the phosphate-sugar building blocks of nucleic acid are formed.

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