Nucleic acid is a naturally occurring chemical molecule that can be broken down to produce phosphoric acid, sugars, and an organic base combination (purines and pyrimidines). Nucleic acids are the cell’s principal information-carrying molecules, and they determine every living thing’s inherited features by directing the process of protein synthesis. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are the two main types of nucleic acids (RNA). The genetic material in all free-living organisms and most viruses is made up of DNA, which is the master blueprint for life. RNA is the genetic material of some viruses, but it may also be present in all living cells, where it plays a key part in processes like protein synthesis.
Nucleic acids, unlike proteins, do not include sulphur. Inorganic phosphate, 2-deoxyribose (a previously unknown sugar), and four distinct heterocyclic bases were obtained after complete hydrolysis of chromosomal nucleic acids. Deoxyribonucleic acids, abbreviated DNA, are the name given to chromosomal nucleic acids because of the unique sugar component. Ribonucleic acids, abbreviated RNA, are similar nucleic acids with ribose as the sugar component. The phosphoric acid moiety was blamed for the nucleic acids’ acidic nature.
History of Nucleic Acids
Johann Friedrich Miescher (1844–1895), a Swiss biologist, first discovered a sticky, transparent substance in the nucleus of cells in 1869, and named it nucleic acid. Nuclein was his name for it, and while it later became known as nucleic acid, no one knew it had anything to do with heredity at the time. The name nucleic acid implies that these transparent molecules were initially discovered in the nucleus of a cell and that they are moderately acidic. By 1929, scientists had established that nucleic acids could be divided into two types. One contained ribose (which became known as ribonucleic acid or RNA) and the other contained deoxyribose.
Functions of Nucleic Acids
Nucleic acid is a type of macromolecule that can be present in all organisms and viruses. Nucleic acids are responsible for the storage and expression of genetic information. The information a cell needs to create proteins is encoded in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a similar type of nucleic acid that participates in protein synthesis in many molecular forms.
It wasn’t until 1941 that scientists understood they were the molecular basis for the transmission of hereditary features. Nucleotides can act as energy sources in the form of ATP, physiological signaling mediators, secondary messengers, and allosteric enzyme effectors, among other things.
Working of Nucleic Acids
Nucleic acids are naturally occurring chemical substances that make up the genetic material and act as the major information-carrying molecules in cells. Nucleic acids are abundant in all living things, where they produce, encode, and store information for every living cell in every life form on the planet. They then convey and express that information to the cell’s inner activities and, ultimately, to the future generation of each living thing, both inside and outside the nucleus. The nucleic acid sequence, which provides the ‘ladder-step’ ordering of nucleotides within the molecules of RNA and DNA, contains and conveys the encoded information. They’re particularly critical for controlling protein synthesis.