A polynucleotid made up of phosphoric acid, ribose, and nucleobases (cytosine, uracil, adenine and guanine).



RNA, RNA chain, ribonucleic acid, nucleic acid, polynucleotide, adenine, uracil, cytosine, guanine, nucleotide, messenger RNA, ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA, phosphoric acid, D-ribose, gene, biotechnology, protein, amino acid, protein synthesis, codon, anticodon, organic chemistry, chemistry, biology, biochemistry

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  • D-ribose

Ribonucleinic acid / RNA

Properties and occurrence

RNA is a polynucleotide: it is made up of nucleotide units. Each nucleotide consists of a phosphoric acid, a ribose and an organic nucleobase containing nitrogen, which is typically cytosine, uracil, adenine and guanine, except in a few cases. RNA typically does not have a double helix structure.

The single RNA chain may bend backwards, and each chain section may form base pairs with hydrogen bonds, thus forming a double structure on certain parts of the chain.

The best known types of RNA are mRNA, tRNA and rRNA, which play an important role in protein synthesis within cells. Other RNA molecules regulate the expression of genes while certain RNA molecules act as enzymes, or biological catalysts. These are called ribozymes.


RNA is used in research, biotechnology, and molecular medicine.

Phosphoric acid

  • phosphoric acid


  • uracile
  • cytosine
  • guanine
  • adenine


  • cytidine monophosphate
  • uridine monophosphate
  • guanosine monophosphate
  • adenosine monophosphate

Messenger RNA

  • messenger RNA (mRNA) - A polynucleotide that is complementary to the sense (or coding) strand of the DNA. It is produced by the RNA polymerase enzyme.
  • silent strand of DNA - This strand is not transcribed to messenger RNA.
  • sense strand (coding strand) of DNA - This strand serves as a template for the production of messenger RNA. Its base triplets are called codons.

Transfer RNA

  • transfer RNA (tRNA) - It transports amino acids activated by ATP for protein synthesis.
  • acceptor stem - The activated amino acid binds here.
  • D-arm - It can bind the enzyme that activates the amino acid.
  • T-arm
  • anticodon arm - It is attached to the codon of the messenger RNA. Its base sequence is complementary to the base sequence of the RNA. It determines what amino acid is transported by the transfer RNA.

Ribosomal RNA

  • ribosomal RNA (rRNA) - One of the components of the ribosome, the cellular organelle responsible for protein synthesis.
  • small ribosomal subunit - It binds the messenger RNA.
  • large ribosomal subunit - It binds the two transfer RNA molecules that transport the amino acids.
  • ribosomal RNA strand

Related items

Beta-D-ribose (C₅H₁₀O₅)

A crystalline compound found in nucleic acids, coenzymes, nucleotides and nucleosides.


Carrier of genetic information in cells.

Genome editing

Genome editing is a type of genetic engineering which results in changes in the genome of an organism. This animation presents one of the best-known genome...

Phosphate ion (PO₄³⁻)

A compound ion formed when a phosphoric acid molecule releases a proton.

Phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄)

It is also used as a food additive, limescale and rust remover.

Purine (C₅H₄N₄)

A heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, its derivatives include guanine and adenine.

Pyrimidine (C₄H₄N₂)

A heterocyclic organic compound, its derivatives are thymine, cytosine and uracil.


Viruses consist of protein and DNA or RNA, they reprogram infected cells to produce more viruses.

D-ribose (C₅H₁₀O₅)

The open-chain version of ribose, which occurs naturally in nucleic acids, coenzymes, nucleotides and nucleosides.

Polymerisation of ethene

Polymerised ethylene is known as polyethylene, a type of plastic.

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