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Whether uracil was an amino acid or not

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1

    jimmy p

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    I while back (in the distant days when i was in education...I'm a day out of education now!!) we were studying amino acids in chemistry, and I asked my chemistry teacher whether uracil was an amino acid or not. She didnt know but said she would find out, which she didnt, so I am asking the experts now!

    "Is uracil an amino acid?" :approve:
     
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  3. Jun 30, 2004 #2

    iansmith

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    No uracil is a nitrogenous pyrimidine base found in RNA but not DNA. In double-stranded RNA it pairs with adenine. In DNA, uracil is replaced by thymine.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2004 #3

    Monique

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    Uracil is a base found in RNA and is derived from pyrimidine, it contains nitrogen but no amino group (NH2) so it's not an amino acid.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2004 #4

    Monique

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    YEH! I wanted to answer :grumpy: :tongue2:
     
  6. Jun 30, 2004 #5

    iansmith

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    You snooze you lose :biggrin:
     
  7. Jun 30, 2004 #6

    jimmy p

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    So it is a fake??? what a clever thing protein synthesis is. That doesnt really make much sense though, what is the point in thymine? Why is uracil better?
     
  8. Jun 30, 2004 #7
    Uracil isn't 'superior' to Thymine on a whole, but each have their advantages in each situation.
    Thymine is present in DNA - the encoded information for synthesis of proteins, while it is replaced by uracil in mRNA/tRNA/rRNA.
    While i'm not sure of the reason for it i would expect thymine possibly holds the DNA together in a more stable manner (as it is storage) and uracil holds some advantage in attracting the anticodons carrying amino acids to the ribosomes. Perhaps uracil exhibits a greater electronegativity?
    Who knows.., that's merely my uninformed ramblings, perhaps the mentors can clear this up.
     
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