Similarities Between DNA and RNA

, , Leave a comment

The building blocks of all living things are nucleic acids. These are the biochemical compounds that serve as the genetic and protein-coding units.

The nucleus of a cell contains nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, which is essential for inheriting characteristics. It is both the prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetic material and passes on the information from one generation to the next. As a result, it generates various features, or phenotypes, to carry out various functions.

Keep reading to learn more about DNA, RNA, and the similarities between the two nucleic acids.

What is DNA?

Humans and nearly all other species carry genetic information in DNA, also known as deoxyribonucleic acid. An individual’s DNA can be found to be identical in almost all of their cells. 

A small quantity of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria, but the majority of DNA is contained in the cell nucleus, which is referred to as nuclear DNA.

A phosphate backbone, a sugar, and a nitrogenous base make up each nucleotide. Two lengthy nucleotide strands spiral together to form the double helix. The base pairs act as the ladder’s rungs, and the double-helixed sugar and phosphate molecules act as the ladder’s vertical side rails.

DNA contains information in the form of a code composed of four chemical bases:

  • Guanine (G).
  • Adenine (A).
  • Thymine (T).
  • Cytosine (C).

More than 99 percent of the 3 billion bases that make up human DNA are the same in every person. Like how the letters of the alphabet occur in a specific order to form words and sentences, the order, or sequence, of these bases dictates the information accessible for creating and maintaining an organism.

What is RNA?

All living cells contain ribonucleic acid (abbreviated RNA), a nucleic acid with properties comparable to DNA. However, RNA is often single-stranded, unlike DNA. Instead of the deoxyribose present in DNA, the backbone of an RNA molecule is made up of alternate phosphate groups and sugar ribose. 

One of the following bases is joined to each sugar:

  • Adenine (A)
  • Cytosine (C).
  • Guanine (G).
  • Uracil (U).

Cells have several forms of RNA:

  • The ribosomal RNA (rRNA).
  • Messenger RNA (mRNA).
  • Transfer RNA (tRNA).

Some RNAs also have a role in controlling how genes are expressed. RNA also serves as certain viruses’ genomic material.

RNA is normally a biopolymer made up of just one strand. However, the ribonucleotide chain is folded into complex structural shapes with bulges and helices when self-complementary sequences are present in the RNA strand.


Now that you know what DNA and RNA are, the following are some similarities between the two.

  • Structure of DNA and RNA

With a few minor exceptions, DNA and RNA are remarkably similar structurally. To begin with, nucleotides make up both of them. In addition, three of the DNA and RNA’s four nitrogenous bases: Cytosine, Adenine, and Guanine, are shared by the two, while one base is unique.

These bases couple similarly in all three nucleic acids. For example, guanine links with cytosine, whereas adenine pairs with either thymine or uracil in the case of RNA. 

Guanine and cytosine pair with one another on both molecules. Hydrogen bonds are used to join complementary base pairs. Adenine, for instance, makes two hydrogen bonds with thymine or uracil, while cytosine, on the other hand, creates three with guanine.

Additionally, they both contain sugar pentose. RNA is ribose, and DNA is a deoxyribose. 

The fact that both DNA and RNA have a phosphate backbone, to which the bases are attached, is one of their most noteworthy similarities. This backbone has a negative charge because of the phosphate group, which many genetic procedures 


  • The function of DNA and RNA

Last but not least, there are certain functional similarities between DNA and RNA. DNA is an encyclopedia containing all of a cell’s genetic data. It includes all available information about a person.

RNA, meanwhile, functions more like a clone of a single theme. In essence, it transports a portion of the information present in DNA whenever the organism requires it.

When not needed, RNA can be compared to a copy of a DNA segment that can be discarded. Sometimes it is even a duplicate of a certain gene.

  • Location of DNA and RNA

DNA lies within the nucleus, where it is safeguarded due to how delicate it is. With their principal roles being to assure protein synthesis and gene expression, DNA and RNA make the ideal companions. RNA can do what DNA can’t, and DNA can do what RNA can’t. 

The upshot of this perfect combination is the ability to synthesize single-stranded RNA from double-stranded DNA.

RNA is like DNA in that it can be found in the nucleus, but it can also be found in the cytoplasm, which allows it to transport DNA messages from the nucleus to its intended targets. In addition, since RNA is less fragile than DNA, it can afford to move about more freely.

Different types of RNA are created, and there is a division of labor among them because RNA moves around and performs numerous tasks in creating proteins. 


What are 3 similarities between DNA and RNA?

Following are the three similarities between DNA and RNA:

  1. Nucleotides makeup both DNA and RNA.
  2. Hydrogen bonds are used in both DNA and RNA to join complementary base pairs.
  3. Both DNA and RNA consist of a phosphate backbone to which the bases are attached.

What do DNA and RNA have in common mastering biology?

Nucleotides are the basic building blocks of RNA and DNA. Both molecules are polymers constructed from monomers of nucleotides.

How do DNA and RNA work together?

DNA is converted into RNA, and RNA is then translated into protein. A messenger strand of RNA is produced during transcription by RNA using a gene from the DNA (mRNA). It then scans the base molecules of the DNA and uses complementary base molecules to make a strand of mRNA.

How are DNA and RNA related to proteins?

DNA does not directly make proteins but carries the information needed to encode proteins. Most cellular processes are carried out by proteins created by RNA, which carries the information from the DNA.

What are the 4 main differences between DNA and RNA?

The main differences between DNA and RNA are:

  1. Deoxyribose, a sugar, is found in DNA, whereas ribose is found in RNA.
  2. RNA is a single-stranded molecule in contrast to the double-stranded nature of DNA.
  3. RNA is not stable in an alkaline environment, whereas DNA is.
  4. Uracil is the nucleobase found in RNA, whereas thymine is found in DNA.

Which of the following is found in RNA but not in DNA?

A base called uracil can only be found in RNA and not in DNA.

Author: Syed Hasan

Facebook Comments
Help us improve. Please rate this article:

Leave a Reply