Skip to Content

nucleic acid

Pronunciation: nu-kle'ik as'id

Definition: A family of macromolecules, of molecular masses ranging upward from 25,000, found in the chromosomes, nucleoli, mitochondria, and cytoplasm of all cells, and in viruses; in complexes with proteins, they are called nucleoproteins. On hydrolysis they yield purines, pyrimidines, phosphoric acid, and a pentose, either d-ribose or d-deoxyribose; from the last, the nucleic acids derive their more specific names, ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid. Nucleic acids are linear (unbranched) chains of nucleotides in which the 5'-phosphoric group of each one is esterified with the 3'-hydroxyl of the adjoining nucleotide.

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide