Deoxyribonucleic mountain (DNA) and also Ribonucleic mountain (RNA) are possibly the most important molecules in cell biology, responsible because that the storage and also reading of genetic information that underpins every life. They space both linear polymers, consist of of sugars, phosphates and bases, yet there space some key differences which different the two1. These distinctions permit the two molecules to work together and also fulfil their crucial roles. Here, we look at 5 an essential differences between DNA and RNA. Prior to we delve right into the differences, us take a look in ~ these 2 nucleic mountain side-by-side.

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A Comparison that the Helix and also Base framework of RNA and also DNA

DNA vs. RNA – A to compare Chart




Full NameDeoxyribonucleic Acid

Ribonucleic Acid


DNA replicates and also stores hereditary information. That is a blueprint because that all hereditary information contained within an organism

RNA converts the genetic information included within DNA to a layout used to construct proteins, and then move it come ribosomal protein factories.


DNA is composed of two strands, i ordered it in a double helix. This strands are comprised of subunits called nucleotides. Each nucleotide has a phosphate, a 5-carbon sugar molecule and also a nitrogenous base.

RNA only has one strand, but like DNA, is made up of nucleotides. RNA strands are shorter than DNA strands. RNA sometimes forms a secondary dual helix structure, however only intermittently.


DNA is a much much longer polymer 보다 RNA. A chromosome, because that example, is a single, long DNA molecule, which would certainly be several centimetres in size when unravelled.

RNA molecules are variable in length, but much much shorter than lengthy DNA polymers. A large RNA molecule could only be a couple of thousand base pairs long.


The street in DNA is deoxyribose, which includes one less hydroxyl team than RNA’s ribose.

RNA consists of ribose sugar molecules, without the hydroxyl adjustments of deoxyribose.


The bases in DNA space Adenine (‘A’), Thymine (‘T’), Guanine (‘G’) and also Cytosine (‘C’).

RNA shares adenin (‘A’), Guanine (‘G’) and Cytosine (‘C’) through DNA, yet contains Uracil (‘U’) fairly than Thymine.

Base Pairs

Adenine and also Thymine pair (A-T)

Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)

Adenine and Uracil pair (A-U)

Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)


DNA is uncovered in the nucleus, with a small amount of DNA likewise present in mitochondria.

RNA develops in the nucleolus, and also then moves to specialised areas of the cytoplasm relying on the form of RNA formed.

ReactivityDue to its deoxyribose sugar, which includes one much less oxygen-containing hydroxyl group, DNA is a more stable molecule than RNA, i m sorry is beneficial for a molecule which has actually the job of keeping genetic information safe.RNA, comprise a ribose sugar, is more reactive than DNA and is not stable in alkaline conditions. RNA’s larger helical grooves median it is an ext easily topic to attack by enzymes.
Ultraviolet (UV) SensitivityDNA is delicate to damages by ultraviolet light.RNA is much more resistant to damages from UV light 보다 DNA.

What space the crucial differences between DNA and RNA?


DNA encodes all hereditary information, and is the blueprint native which all organic life is created. And that’s only in the short-term. In the long-term, DNA is a storage device, a organic flash drive that allows the blueprint that life to it is in passed between generations2. RNA features as the reader that decodes this flash drive. This reading procedure is multi-step and also there are committed RNAs for each of these steps. Below, we look in much more detail in ~ the three many important varieties of RNA.
What room the three species of RNA?Messenger RNA (mRNA) copies portions of hereditary code, a process called transcription, and also transports these copies to ribosomes, which are the to move factories the facilitate the production of proteins from this code.Transfer RNA (tRNA) is responsible for bringing amino acids, simple protein structure blocks, to these protein factories, in response to the coded instructions presented by the mRNA. This protein-building procedure is dubbed translation.Finally, ribosome RNA (rRNA) is a ingredient of the ribosome factory itself without which protein production would not occur3.
Both DNA and also RNA are built with a street backbone, yet whereas the street in DNA is called deoxyribose (left in image), the sugar in RNA is called simply ribose (right in image). The ‘deoxy’ prefix denotes that, whilst RNA has actually two hydroxyl (-OH) groups attached to its carbon backbone, DNA has only one, and also has a lone hydrogen atom fastened instead. RNA’s extra hydroxyl group proves valuable in the procedure of converting genetic code right into mRNAs that can be made into proteins, whilst the deoxyribose sugar offers DNA more stability4.

Whilst the ubiquity the Francis Crick and also James Watson’s (or need to that be Rosalind Franklin’s?) DNA double helix method that the two-stranded framework of DNA structure is typical knowledge, RNA’s solitary stranded format is not also known. RNA can type into double-stranded structures, together as during translation, once mRNA and tRNA molecule pair. DNA polymers are additionally much longer than RNA polymers; the 2.3m long person genome consists of 46 chromosomes, each of i beg your pardon is a single, long DNA molecule. RNA molecules, by comparison, are much shorter4.

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The three varieties of RNA are uncovered in different locations. MRNA is do in the nucleus, v each mRNA fragment duplicated from that relative item of DNA, before leaving the nucleus and entering the cytoplasm. The pieces are then shuttled around the cell together needed, relocated along by the cell’s interior transport system, the cytoskeleton. TRNA, like mRNA, is a free-roaming molecule the moves roughly the cytoplasm. If that receives the exactly signal from the ribosome, it will certainly then hunt down amino mountain subunits in the cytoplasm and also bring them come the ribosome to be built into proteins5. RRNA, as previously mentioned, is found as component of ribosomes. Ribosom are developed in one area that the nucleus referred to as the nucleolus, prior to being exported come the cytoplasm, where some ribosomes float freely. Other cytoplasmic ribosomes room bound come the absorbent reticulum, a membranous framework that helps process proteins and also export them from the cell6.