Asked Mar 9, 2020

Relate the structure of DNA to its function.


Expert Answer

Step 1

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule which stores the information that each cell requires to produce proteins. Proteins are chains of amino acids that fold into three-dimensional shapes. Proteins define an organism’s overall traits. They also interact with other chemicals inside cells. Thus, DNA plays a central role in life.

Step 2
  • The structure of DNA helix is stable, which means it does not react readily with other chemicals and easily break down.
  • DNA is stabilized due to the presence of sugar-phosphate backbone and all the side groups are bonded to it.
  • Adjacent nucleotides are connected by a phosphodiester bond along the DNA strand. They are strong covalent bonds that are not easily broken.
  • The nitrogenous bases of opposing DNA strands are bonded by hydrogen bonds, to form the twisted or double helix of DNA. Thus the nitrogenous bases are kept intact and hydrogen bonds between the base pairs enhance the double helix structure.
  • Histone proteins associate with the DNA to protect it from thermal and chemical damage. Therefore, DNA can function as an information carrier because information stored in the form of a sequence of nucleotides that cannot be easily lost.
Step 3
  • DNA has two strands that are complementary to each other. Such a structural feature makes DNA function as a good information carrier because there will always be a substitution for the nucleotide sequence. Thus, if one of the two strands is damaged or mutated, the cell can synthesize a new strand using the unimpaired strand as the template.
  • The hyd...

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