Nucleic acids are polymers resulting from the linkage of smaller units called nucleotides.
Nucleic acids were first isolated in 1869, by Fredrich Miescher from the nuclei of pus cells.
Nucleotides are small molecules acting as monomers and join together into a chain forming nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are therefore also known as polynucleotides.
COMPONENTS OF NUCLEOTIDE:
A nucleotide is composed of three components namely
- Nitrogen containing base
- Pentose sugar (5 carbon monosaccharide)
- Phosphate group
- The nitrogenous bases found in nucleotides (and hence nucleic acids) are heterocyclic compounds.