Why does phosphodiester bond have diester as part of it's name?

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In summary, a phosphodiester bond is a type of covalent bond between a phosphate group and two 5-carbon ring carbohydrates, known as pentoses. The name "diester" in phosphodiester refers to the two ester bonds present in the structure. This differs from a normal ester bond, as it involves a phosphate group instead of a carbonyl group.
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Why does "phosphodiester bond" have "diester" as part of it's name?

Why does "phosphodiester bond" have "diester" as part of it's name?

I don't see two esters. I must be overlooking something. Maybe it's because the two riboses can dissociate into ester form? Thanks.
 
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  • #3
Probably because it contains two C-O-P bonds (a normal ester is a C-O-C bond [where one of the carbons is a carbonyl], so a singel phosphoester would be a C-O-P bond [in which the phosphorus atom is a phosphate]).
 
  • #4
Ygggdrasil said:
Probably because it contains two C-O-P bonds (a normal ester is a C-O-C bond [where one of the carbons is a carbonyl], so a singel phosphoester would be a C-O-P bond [in which the phosphorus atom is a phosphate]).

I thought that was an ether.
 
  • #5
jedishrfu said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphodiester_bond

A phosphodiester bond is a group of strong covalent bonds between a phosphate group and two 5-carbon ring carbohydrates (pentoses) over two ester bonds.

I'm still not seeing it. I see riboses and phosphate groups.
 
  • #6
To quopte wikipedia:

Ester is a general term for the product derived from the condensation of an acid and an alcohol. Thus, the nomenclature extends to inorganic oxo acids, e.g. phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid and boric acid.

(bolding mine)
 

1. Why is it called a phosphodiester bond?

The term "phosphodiester" refers to the presence of two ester bonds in the molecule. In a phosphodiester bond, two phosphate groups are joined by an ester bond to form a backbone in a nucleic acid molecule.

2. What is the difference between a phosphodiester bond and a phosphoanhydride bond?

Both types of bonds involve the bonding of phosphorus atoms, but in a phosphodiester bond, the phosphorus is bonded to two oxygen atoms, while in a phosphoanhydride bond, the phosphorus is bonded to three oxygen atoms.

3. How is a phosphodiester bond formed?

A phosphodiester bond is formed through a condensation reaction between a hydroxyl group on one nucleotide and a phosphate group on another nucleotide. This results in the formation of a covalent bond and the release of a water molecule.

4. Why is the diester part of the name significant?

The term "diester" refers to the presence of two ester bonds in the molecule, which is a key feature of a phosphodiester bond. It distinguishes this type of bond from others, such as phosphoester bonds, which only have one ester bond.

5. What is the function of a phosphodiester bond in nucleic acids?

Phosphodiester bonds are responsible for linking nucleotides together to form the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA and RNA molecules. This provides stability and structure to the molecule, allowing for the storage and transmission of genetic information.

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