The key difference between a ribonucleotide and a deoxyribonucleotide is the sugar component of each nucleotide. Ribose is the sugar component of ribonucleotides while deoxyribose is the sugar component of deoxyribonucleotide.
RNA and DNA are polymers of nucleotides; they are ribonucleotides and deoxyribonucleotides respectively. Though all human beings are alike in the sense that they have the same body parts and essential organs, each one of us is unique because of our genetic makeup. It is the DNA blueprint of every individual that decides his physical features and body composition. DNA is a microscopic macromolecule that stores genetic code which provides a unique identity to each individual. RNA (ribonucleic acid) is another of the three major macromolecules (along with proteins and DNA) that are integral to our lives.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Ribonucleotide
3. What is a Deoxyribonucleotide
4. Similarities Between a Ribonucleotide and a Deoxyribonucleotide
5. Side by Side Comparison – a Ribonucleotide vs a Deoxyribonucleotide in Tabular Form
What is a Ribonucleotide?
A ribonucleotide is the basic building block of RNA. It consists of three components namely ribose sugar, nitrogenous base, and phosphate group. Moreover, it has an OH group in the pentose sugar ring, at 2’ carbon atom. Nitrogenous bases of ribonucleotides are Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Uracil.
In contrast to basic units of DNA, ribonucleotides provide other cellular functions such as cell regulation and cell signaling. Furthermore, ribonucleotides can be converted into ATP or Cyclic AMP.
What is a Deoxyribonucleotide?
A deoxyribonucleotide is the basic building block of DNA. In most living organisms, DNA serves as the genetic material that contains genetic information. Hence, DNA is considered as the most important macromolecule in the body.
Deoxyribonucleotide differs from ribonucleotide due to few factors. It contains deoxyribose sugar instead of ribose sugar. Moreover, deoxyribonucleotide contains thymine instead of uracil as in RNA. Ribose and deoxyribose sugar molecules differ with each other by the difference in 2’ carbon atom. Ribonucleotide has OH in 2’ Carbon while deoxyribonucleotide has an H atom in 2’ Carbon.
What are the Similarities Between a Ribonucleotide and a Deoxyribonucleotide?
- Ribonucleotide and Deoxyribonucleotide are nucleotides and monomers of RNA and DNA, respectively.
- Both have three components: base, pentose sugar, and a phosphate group.
- Also, both form phosphodiester bonds by 3′-5′ to link with another nucleotide.
- Furthermore, both nucleotides consist of common three nitrogenous bases namely Adenine, Guanine, and Cytosine.
What is the Difference Between a Ribonucleotide and a Deoxyribonucleotide?
RNA is made up of ribonucleotides while DNA is made up of deoxyribonucleotides. The key difference between a ribonucleotide and a deoxyribonucleotide is the pentose sugar. Ribose is the sugar component of ribonucleotide while deoxyribose is the sugar component of deoxyribonucleotide. Furthermore, another difference between a ribonucleotide and a deoxyribonucleotide is in a nitrogenous base. Ribonucleotides contain uracil instead of the thymine in deoxyribonucleotides. In addition, Ribonucleotide has OH in 2’ Carbon while deoxyribonucleotide has an H atom in 2’ Carbon.
The below infographic shows the difference between a ribonucleotide and a deoxyribonucleotide in tabular form.
Summary – Ribonucleotide vs Deoxyribonucleotide
Both DNA and RNA are similar in looks and perform similar functions. However, there is a subtle difference between a ribonucleotide and a deoxyribonucleotide, which make them perform different functions. Ribonucleotide contains ribose as the sugar component while deoxyribose is the sugar of deoxyribonucleotide.