The Biology Project: Biochemistry

Large Molecules Problem Set

Problem 8: Identification of a macromolecule

Tutorial to help answer the question

The structure shown in the diagram is an example of: A polymer with bases ATGC
A. a polysaccharide.



D. a protein.

E. a lipid.


The polymer shown in the structural diagram can be identified as a nucleic acid because the covalent backbone is an alternating polymer of sugar and phosphate.
Which nucleic acid?
Is it DNA or RNA? There are two major differences in the covalent structure on a DNA strand compared to an RNA strand.
1. The sugar in the DNA backbone lacks a hydroxyl group (-OH) at the 2'-position.
RNA has a 2'-hydroxyl group;
2. The bases of DNA are A, G, C, and T.
The bases of RNA are A, G, C, and U.
Diagram of a DNA molecule on the left and and RNA molecule on the right

Problem 8 AnswerProblem 9

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