What are nucleic acids? Mention their two important functions.
Nucleic acids are biomolecules found in the nuclei of all living cells, as one of the constituents of chromosomes. There are mainly two types of nucleic acids − deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Nucleic acids are also known as polynucleotides as they are long-chain polymers of nucleotides.
Two main functions of nucleic acids are:
(i) DNA is responsible for the transmission of inherent characters from one generation to the next. This process of transmission is called heredity.
(ii) Nucleic acids (both DNA and RNA) are responsible for protein synthesis in a cell. Even though the proteins are actually synthesised by the various RNA molecules in a cell, the message for the synthesis of a particular protein is present in DNA.
Nucleic acids are biomolecules which are found in the nuclei of all living cell in form of nucleoproteins or chromosomes (proteins contains nucleic acids as the prosthetic group).
Nucleic acids are of two types: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid.(RNA).
The two main functions of nucleic acids are:
(a) DNA is responsible for transmission of hereditary effects from one generation to another. This is due to its unique property of replication, during cell division and two identical DNA strands are transferred to the daughter cells.
(b) DNA and RNA are responsible for synthesis of all proteins needed for the growth and maintenance of our body. Actually the proteins are synthesized by various RNA molecules (r-RNA, m-RNA) and t-RNA) in the cell but the message for the synthesis of a particular protein is coded in DNA.
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