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Apr 13, 2006
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I have a question- it may seem stupid to some. I am reading EK's biology, and something doesn't make sense to me. It reads,

"a nucleotide attached to the number 3 carbon (3') of its neighbor, follows that neighbor in the list. In other words, nucleotides are written 5' --> 3'."

What're they referring to when they say "5'"? Thanks.


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Apr 16, 2006
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they mean the 5' carbon. When you draw a ribose molecule, each carbon has a number. The 5' end of a nucleic acid is the end that has a 5' carbon exposed


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jota_jota said:
Minor nit. The 5' end has a phosphate (attached to the 5' carbon) exposed.

Yes... And if you are confused as to what 3' and 5' are on the deoxyribose just think about the phosphate 5' and the definition of deoxyribose meaning the hydroxyl 3' right next to the "deoxy" 2' hydrogen is what receives the next nucleotide.
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