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Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleic Acid

Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleic Acid

As two of the most important and fundamental molecules in biology, it’s no surprise that nucleotide and nucleic acid are often confused. Though they have many similarities, these two molecules have some very distinct differences. In this post, we will take a closer look at both molecules and highlight the key differences between them. By understanding the distinctions between nucleotide and nucleic acid, you’ll be better equipped to understand these important biological structures.

What is Nucleotide?

A nucleotide is a term for a molecule that consists of a nucleoside and one or more phosphate groups. Nucleotides are the building blocks of nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA. They are also found in coenzymes and serve as energy storage molecules in cells. Nucleotides are formed when a nucleoside reacts with a phosphate group. Nucleotides are extremely important molecules in the cell. They play a role in many cellular processes, including DNA replication, transcription, and cell signaling. Nucleotides are also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

What is Nucleic Acid?

Nucleic acids are long macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life. The term nucleic acid is used to refer to both DNA and RNA, which are distinct but related molecules. Nucleic acids are composed of nucleotides, which are themselves made up of a sugar, a phosphate, and a nitrogenous base. There are four different nitrogenous bases found in DNA (adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine) and four different bases found in RNA (adenine, uracil, cytosine, and guanine). Nucleotides are joined together by covalent bonds to form strands of nucleic acid. These strands are then coiled and twisted around each other to form the double helix structure of DNA. RNA is similar in structure to DNA, but it is usually single-stranded and has the base uracil instead of thymine. Nucleic acids store genetic information and serve as the template for protein synthesis. They also play important roles in cell regulation and metabolism. Nucleic acids were first isolated in 1869 by Friedrich Miescher.

Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleic Acid

Nucleotide and Nucleic Acid are two important compounds in biology. Nucleotides are the building blocks of nucleic acids, which are essential for all living organisms. Nucleic acids are large molecules that store the genetic information of an organism. Nucleotides are made up of a nitrogenous base, a sugar, and a phosphate group. There are four main types of nitrogenous bases: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. Nucleic acids are also made up of these four bases, but they also have a much larger structure that consists of many nucleotides bonded together. Nucleic acids are found in all living cells and play a vital role in the function of the cell.


Nucleotide and nucleic acid are both important molecules in the cell, but they have different functions. Nucleotides make up DNA while nucleic acids are responsible for gene expression. It is important to know the differences between these two molecules so that you can understand how genes are expressed and how mutations can lead to diseases.

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