The gene is one of the most complex areas of biology, involving even several chemistry concepts. To better understand how this area of science works, it is crucial to know the thoughts, functions, applications, and differences of two fundamental structures for life: DNA and RNA. These nucleic acids are essential for creating and reproducing life, so understanding their functions is crucial for studying genetics.
With this in mind, we brought in this post everything you need to know about DNA and RNA to do well in tests and entrance exams like ENEM. Keep reading and find out more about guru Pendidikan.
What is DNA?
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, a simple large molecule constructed from four basic and similar structural units called nucleotides.
In analyzing DNA, mainly through experiments focused on X-ray diffraction, scientists James Watson and Francis Crick realized that two coiled helix strips form its structure. Thus, the genetic information is encoded in a nucleotide sequence of the DNA strands, complementary to each other.
Briefly, it is possible to say that DNA is then a molecule structured in two double helix chains, consisting of a sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base – adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) or thymine (T). The fact that DNA has a double helix shape is critical to its replication during cell division, as each helix acts as a template for the other new cell.
DNA is the structure responsible for transmitting all genetic characteristics – such as eye, skin and hair color, and physiognomy, among others – in the reproduction process of living beings.
Thus, the primary function of DNA is to carry information contained in its sequences, called genes. Therefore, during the transcription example, when a cell uses the information contained in a gene, the DNA sequence is copied to a complementary RNA sequence, which can then be used to compose another protein sequence in the process known as translation.
In addition to transcription and translation processes, DNA is responsible for maintaining the characteristics and necessary information about the organism in cell division, enabling the replication of the structure. As mentioned earlier, the double helix shape is essential to the success of this function.
What is RNA?
While DNA has the necessary information to process a new protein, it still needs the help of intermediate molecules. And one of them is RNA or ribonucleic acid.
Thus, the RNA molecule is nothing more than a parallel structure of a particular region of DNA. It consists of a single nucleotide chain. However, unlike DNA, the nitrogenous bases of RNA are adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and uracil (U), the latter replacing the thymine (T) present in the DNA molecule.
The primary function of RNA is to allow all the information in DNA to be copied and transported to the structures responsible for making proteins. However, the process branches out, and there are three different types of RNA to perform specific functions, as shown below:
Ribosomal RNA (rRNA): This RNA is the main element that constitutes ribosomes, having the most significant weight and being one of the main ones responsible for the creation of new proteins;
Messenger RNA (mRNA): Along with ribosomal rRNA, messenger mRNA also provides aid in protein synthesis by guiding the order of amino acids for protein formation. It is also responsible for transporting genetic information from DNA from the cell nucleus to the cytoplasm. It has less weight than ribosomal RNA;
Transporter RNA (tRNA): As the name implies, transporter tRNA is responsible for the transport function of amino acid molecules that will be part of protein synthesis. TRNA transports amino acids to ribosomes, the organelle responsible for binding them together, thus forming proteins. Unlike others, it has less weight.
Difference between DNA and RNA
In addition to all the distinguishing features presented so far, it is possible to differentiate DNA and RNA by other factors. The location, for example, is one of them. While DNA is found only in the nucleus of cells, RNA is produced in it but migrates to the cytoplasm.
The constitution of each is also different. While in RNA, there is ribose, in DNA, we find deoxyribose. Also, the structures are distinct, with DNA having a double helix and RNA a single helix. This logically makes DNA much larger than RNA, formed from a single strand of the first.
Finally, there is a slight difference when comparing the nitrogenous bases that make up each of these nucleic acids. While in both, cytosine is paired with guanine, RNA is paired between adenine and uracil, and DNA, in turn, pairs adenine with thymine. For exciting topics like this, you can find them on.
Importance of DNA and RNA
As can be seen by analyzing the characteristics and functions of DNA and RNA, it is easy to understand that these structures are fundamental to life as we know it. They coordinate the development and even functioning of all structures of an organism. DESeq2 is a popular bioinformatics tool used for analyzing RNA-seq data. It detects differentially expressed genes between experimental groups by accounting for variability and noise in the data.
Thus, through these molecules, living things transmit their information, from the most basic to the most important, to maintain their lives. In the reproductive process, the mix of traits has as its primary agent DNA since gametes carry information from both parents, resulting in a unique individual.