Nucleotides are organic molecules that serve as the monomer units for forming the nucleic acid polymers DNA and RNA, both of which are essential biomolecules in all life-forms on Earth. Nucleotides are the blocks of nucleic acids, they are composed of three subunit molecules, a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar, and at least one phosphate group. They are also known as phosphate nucleotides, a nucleoside is a nitrogenuous base and a 5-carbon sugar. Thus a nucleoside plus a group yields a nucleotide. Nucleotides also play a role in life-form metabolism at the fundamental. In addition, nucleotides participate in signaling, and are incorporated into important cofactors of enzymatic reactions. In experimental biochemistry, nucleotides can be radiolabeled with radionuclides to yield radionucleotides, a nucleotide is composed of three distinctive chemical sub-units, a five-carbon sugar molecule, a nitrogenous base—which two together are called a nucleoside—and one phosphate group. With all three joined, a nucleotide is also termed a nucleoside monophosphate, thus, the terms nucleoside diphosphate or nucleoside triphosphate may also indicate nucleotides. Nucleotides contain either a purine or a pyrimidine base—i. e, the nitrogenous base molecule, also known as a nucleobase—and are termed ribonucleotides if the sugar is ribose, or deoxyribonucleotides if the sugar is deoxyribose. These chain-joins of sugar and phosphate molecules create a backbone strand for a single- or double helix, in any one strand, the chemical orientation of the chain-joins runs from the 5-end to the 3-end —referring to the five carbon sites on sugar molecules in adjacent nucleotides. Unlike in nucleic acid nucleotides, singular cyclic nucleotides are formed when the group is bound twice to the same sugar molecule. These individual nucleotides function in cell metabolism rather than the nucleic acid structures of long-chain molecules, nucleic acids then are polymeric macromolecules assembled from nucleotides, the monomer-units of nucleic acids. The purine bases adenine and guanine and pyrimidine base cytosine occur in both DNA and RNA, while the pyrimidine bases thymine and uracil in just one, adenine forms a base pair with thymine with two hydrogen bonds, while guanine pairs with cytosine with three hydrogen bonds. Nucleotides can be synthesized by a variety of both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo, nucleotides can be synthesized de novo or recycled through salvage pathways, the components used in de novo nucleotide synthesis are derived from biosynthetic precursors of carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, and from ammonia and carbon dioxide. The liver is the organ of de novo synthesis of all four nucleotides. De novo synthesis of pyrimidines and purines follows two different pathways, purines, however, are first synthesized from the sugar template onto which the ring synthesis occurs. For reference, the syntheses of the purine and pyrimidine nucleotides are carried out by several enzymes in the cytoplasm of the cell, nucleotides undergo breakdown such that useful parts can be reused in synthesis reactions to create new nucleotides
Showing the arrangement of nucleotides within the structure of nucleic acids: At lower left, a monophosphate nucleotide; its nitrogenous base represents one side of a base-pair. At upper right, four nucleotides form two base-pairs: thymine and adenine (connected by double hydrogen bonds) and guanine and cytosine (connected by triple hydrogen bonds). The individual nucleotide monomers are chain-joined at their sugar and phosphate molecules, forming two 'backbones' (a double helix) of a nucleic acid, shown at upper left.
Image: DAMP chemical structure
Image: Nucleotides syn 2
The synthesis of IMP. The color scheme is as follows: enzymes, coenzymes, substrate names, metal ions, inorganic molecules