- nucleic acids
Linear polymers of nucleotides, linked by 3\',5\' phosphodiester linkages. In DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the sugar group is deoxyribose, and the bases of the nucleotides adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. RNA, ribonucleic acid, has ribose as the sugar, and uracil replaces thymine. DNA functions as a stable repository of genetic information in the form of base sequence. RNA has a similar function in some viruses but more usually serves as an informational intermediate (mRNA), a transporter of amino acids (tRNA), in a structural capacity or, in some newly discovered instances, as an enzyme.
Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.
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