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

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A Comparison the 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 stores genetic information. It is a blueprint for all genetic information contained within one organism

RNA counter the genetic information had within DNA come a style used to build proteins, and then move it to ribosomal protein factories.


DNA is composed of 2 strands, arranged in a dual helix. These strands are consisted of of subunits called nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate, a 5-carbon street molecule and a nitrogenous base.

RNA only has one strand, but like DNA, is comprised of nucleotides. RNA strands are shorter than DNA strands. RNA sometimes creates a secondary double helix structure, yet only intermittently.


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

RNA molecules room variable in length, however much much shorter than lengthy DNA polymers. A large RNA molecule might only be a few thousand base pairs long.


The sugar in DNA is deoxyribose, which contains one much less hydroxyl group than RNA’s ribose.

RNA includes ribose sugar molecules, there is no the hydroxyl adjustments of deoxyribose.


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

RNA shares adenine (‘A’), Guanine (‘G’) and Cytosine (‘C’) through DNA, however contains Uracil (‘U’) rather than Thymine.

Base Pairs

Adenine and also Thymine pair (A-T)

Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)

Adenine and also Uracil pair (A-U)

Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)


DNA is uncovered in the nucleus, through a little amount the DNA likewise present in mitochondria.

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

ReactivityDue to its deoxyribose sugar, which has one less oxygen-containing hydroxyl group, DNA is a an ext stable molecule 보다 RNA, i beg your pardon is advantageous for a molecule which has the job of keeping genetic information safe.RNA, comprise a ribose sugar, is an ext reactive 보다 DNA and is not steady in alkaline conditions. RNA’s bigger helical grooves typical it is an ext easily topic to assault by enzymes.
Ultraviolet (UV) SensitivityDNA is fragile to damage by ultraviolet light.RNA is more resistant to damages from UV light than DNA.

What are the key differences between DNA and also RNA?


DNA encodes all genetic information, and also is the blueprint from which all biological life is created. And that’s only in the short-term. In the long-term, DNA is a warehouse device, a organic flash drive that enables the blueprint of life to be passed in between generations2. RNA functions as the leader that decodes this flash drive. This reading process is multi-step and also there are committed RNAs for each of this steps. Below, we look in more detail in ~ the three many important types of RNA.
What are the three varieties of RNA?Messenger RNA (mRNA) duplicates portions of genetic code, a procedure called transcription, and also transports these copies to ribosomes, which space the cellular factories that facilitate the production of proteins from this code.Transfer RNA (tRNA) is responsible for bringing amino acids, straightforward protein structure blocks, to these protein factories, in response to the coded instructions introduced by the mRNA. This protein-building process is called translation.Finally, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is a ingredient of the ribosome factory itself without which protein manufacturing would not occur3.
Both DNA and RNA are developed with a street backbone, yet whereas the street in DNA is referred to as 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 actually only one, and also has a lone hydrogen atom enclosed instead. RNA’s extra hydroxyl team proves advantageous in the process of converting genetic code right into mRNAs that deserve to be made right into proteins, whilst the deoxyribose sugar offers DNA more stability4.

Whilst the ubiquity the Francis Crick and also James Watson’s (or have to that it is in Rosalind Franklin’s?) DNA twin helix means that the two-stranded structure of DNA structure is typical knowledge, RNA’s single stranded layout is not also known. RNA can form into double-stranded structures, together as throughout translation, when mRNA and also tRNA molecules pair. DNA polymers are additionally much much longer than RNA polymers; the 2.3m long human genome consists of 46 chromosomes, each of i m sorry is a single, long DNA molecule. RNA molecules, by comparison, are much shorter4.

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The three varieties of RNA are found in different locations. MRNA is made in the nucleus, with each mRNA fragment replicated from that is relative item of DNA, prior to leaving the nucleus and entering the cytoplasm. The fragments are then shuttled about the cell as needed, moved along by the cell’s inner transport system, the cytoskeleton. TRNA, like mRNA, is a free-roaming molecule the moves roughly the cytoplasm. If the receives the correct signal native the ribosome, it will then hunt down amino acid subunits in the cytoplasm and also bring them come the ribosome to be developed into proteins5. RRNA, as previously mentioned, is found as part of ribosomes. Ribosome are created in one area the the nucleus called the nucleolus, prior to being exported to the cytoplasm, wherein some ribosomes rise freely. Various other cytoplasmic ribosomes are bound to the absorbent reticulum, a membranous structure that helps procedure proteins and export them from the cell6.