#Student_IEU Importance of DNA and RNA in Medicine

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule made up of two polynucleotide strands that twist on each other to create a double helix (Olson, 2020). The double helix contains information on cell functions like reproduction and growth of viruses and organisms (Kim & Kim, 2016). For DNA to execute these functions, the DNA bases namely: adenosine, cytosine, guanine and thymine are transformed to messages utilised to generate protein molecules that carry out most body activities such as communication, blood clotting, digestion and muscle contraction among others (Madzharova et al., 2016; Sajid et al., 2019). On an important note, DNA remains the blueprint for all living things as it encodes all genetic instructions (Zhou, Geng, & Guo, 2018).

On the other hand, while Ribonucleic acid (RNA) has some similarities to the DNA in composition and role, the two molecules have some distinct differences, namely: RNA is a single strand, while DNA is a double strand molecule (Michalak et al., 2019), RNA comprise of sugar ribose and unstable in alkaline while DNA has sugar deoxyribose and stable in alkaline solution (Furukawa & Kakegawa, 2017); also, the pairing of their bases is unique in that RNA utilizes guanine, cytosine, adenine and uracil bases; while DNA uses guanine, cytosine, thymine and adenine (Xu, Chan, & Kool, 2017). And one important distinction between DNA and RNA is that RNA is a message-carrier from DNA to ribosomes in the production of proteins using transcription and translation ensuring that the mRNA is protected from cytoplasm induced degradation using polyadenylation and capping (Shatkin & Manley, 2000); while DNA stores and transports genetic instructions (Rana, 2007).

Operons, transcription units, are a DNA sequence comprised of an aggregation of genes (Mao et al., 2015). Because the expression patterns of genes in an operon are linked, they should be expressed together (Saenz-Lahoya et al., 2019). For example, hemoglobin β-chain, is a simplified transcription unit of a eukaryote cell which has a regulator protein (Chen & Rajewsky, 2007). It is important to recognise that the operons are made up of the promoter that initiates transcription, the operator that controls transcription, and the regulator which suppresses gene activity (Osbourn & Field, 2009).



Chen, K., & Rajewsky, N. (2007). The evolution of gene regulation by transcription factors and microRNAs. Nature Reviews Genetics8(2), 93-103.

Furukawa, Y., & Kakegawa, T. (2017). Borate and the origin of RNA: a model for the precursors to life. Elements13(4), 261-265.

Kim, Y. J., & Kim, D. N. (2016). Structural basis for elastic mechanical properties of the DNA double helix. PloS one11(4), e0153228.

Madzharova, F., Heiner, Z., Gühlke, M., & Kneipp, J. (2016). Surface-enhanced hyper-Raman spectra of adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C120(28), 15415-15423.

Mao, X., Ma, Q., Liu, B., Chen, X., Zhang, H., & Xu, Y. (2015). Revisiting operons: an analysis of the landscape of transcriptional units in E. coli. Bmc Bioinformatics16(1), 1-9.

Michalak, E. M., Burr, M. L., Bannister, A. J., & Dawson, M. A. (2019). The roles of DNA, RNA and histone methylation in ageing and cancer. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 1.

Olson, W. K. (2020). Insights into DNA and chromatin from realistic treatment of the double helix. In Modern Applications of Flory’s “Statistical Mechanics of Chain Molecules” (pp. 143-159). American Chemical Society.

Osbourn, A. E., & Field, B. (2009). Operons. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences66(23), 3755-3775.

Rana, T. M. (2007). Illuminating the silence: understanding the structure and function of small RNAs. Nature reviews Molecular cell biology8(1), 23-36.

Saenz-Lahoya, S., Bitarte, N., García, B., Burgui, S., Vergara-Irigaray, M., Valle, J., … & Lasa, I. (2019). Noncontiguous operon is a genetic organization for coordinating bacterial gene expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(5), 1733-1738.

Sajid, H., Ayub, K., Arshad, M., & Mahmood, T. (2019). Highly selective acridinium based cyanine dyes for the detection of DNA base pairs (adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine). Computational and Theoretical Chemistry1163, 112509.

Shatkin, A. J., & Manley, J. L. (2000). The ends of the affair: capping and polyadenylation. Nature structural biology7(10), 838-842.

Xu, W., Chan, K. M., & Kool, E. T. (2017). Fluorescent nucleobases as tools for studying DNA and RNA. Nature chemistry9(11), 1043.

Zhou, C., Geng, H., & Guo, C. (2018). Design of DNA-based innovative computing system of digital comparison. Acta Biomaterialia80, 58-65.Поділитися цим:


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Коментарі: 0Публікації: 2Реєстрація: 24-11-2020

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