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Names and Abbreviations of Nucleic Acid Bases, Nucleosides, and Nucleotides

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Names and Abbreviations of Nucleic Acid Bases, Nucleosides, and Nucleotides 1

Nucleic Acid Bases

1 From Voet, D. and Voet, J.G., Biochemistry, p. 742, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (1990)

a The presence of a 2′-deoxyribose unit in place of a ribose, as occurs in DNA, is implied by the prefixes “deoxy” or “d”. For example, the deoxynucleoside of adenine is deoxyadenosine of dA. However, for thymine-containing residues, which rarely occur in RNA, the prefix is redundant and may be dropped. The presence of a ribose unit may be explicitly implied by the prefixes “ribo” or “r”. Thus the ribonucleotide of thymine is ribothymidine or rT.

b The position of the phosphate group in a nucleotide may be explicitly specified as in, for example, 3′-AMP and 5′-GMP.