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A molecule consisting of a number of ribonucleotides attached together to form a long strand one nucleotide thick. Each nucleotide contains the sugar, ribose, and one of four different bases: cytosine, adenine and guanine (as in DNA) and uracil (as opposed to thymine in DNA). The major portion of cellular RNA occurs as ribosomal RNA (rRNA), to a lesser extent as transfer RNA (tRNA) and less still as messenger RNA (mRNA), all three forms being concerned with transformation of the DNA sequence into the complementary protein sequence. It also occurs in some viruses where it acts as the hereditary material.
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