ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

The molecular basis for genes; every inherited characteristic has its origin somewhere in the code of the organism's complement of DNA. The code is made up of subunits, nucleic acids. The organism to produce the required proteins that compose the genetic traits of the organism and its life functions interprets the sequence of the four nucleic acids.

Publication Source: ISPE Baseline® Guide, Vol. 6: Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities

Publication Date: 2004

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

The molecule of which the genetic material is composed. It consists of two chains joined together as a double helix. Each chain is composed of a polymer of nucleotides (consisting of a nitrogenous base, a deoxyribosesugar ring, and a phosphate group) joined together by phosphodiester bonds between the 5’-phosphate of one nucleotide and the 3’-hydroxyl of the next. The two chains run in opposite directions and are held together by hydrogen bonds between the bases in equivalent positions in the two chains. There are various forms of double helical DNA. They are:

1. B-DNA (first described by Crick and Watson) is a right-handed helix with 10.6 base pairs per turn and is probably the main form of cellular DNA.

2. A-DNA is also a right-handed helix but is somewhat skewed and contains about 11 base pairs per turn. It is the form taken By DNA-RNA hybrid double helixes.

3. Z-DNA is a left-handed helix with 11 base pairs per turn. It is favored by regions rich in guanine cutosine base pairs and probably occurs infrequently in cellular DNA.

See also: Nucleic Acid

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