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Ribose Nucleic Acid (RNA)

The single RNA strand is folded upon itself, either entirely or in certain regions. In the folded region a majority of the bases are complementary, and are joined by hydrogen bonds. This helps in the stability of the molecule. In the unfolded region the bases have no complements. Because of this RNA does not have the purine-pyrimidine equality that is found in DNA.

RNA also differs from DNA in having ribose as the sugar instead of deoxyribose. The common nitrogenous bases of RNA are adenine, guanine, cystosine and uracil. Thus, the pyrimidine uracil substitutes thymine of DNA. Three types of cellular RNA have been distinguished: messenger RNA (mRNA) or template RNA, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and soluble RNA (sRNA) or transfer RNA (tRNA).


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