Nucleic Acids

  • Anil Gupta


  • In 1868, Swiss physician, Friedrich Miescher, isolated nucleic acid from nuclei of human WBC (pus cells). He called it as nuclein.

  • In 1884, it was Oscar Hertwig who emphasized upon the importance of nuclein as genetic material.

  • In 1889, Altman named nuclein as nucleic acid.

  • In 1919, Russian biochemist P. Levene proposed polynucleotide model of nucleic acid of yeast. Later on, he suggested tetranucleotide model comprised of four nucleotides arranged in the same order as G-C-T-A-G-C-T-A. Levene also declared sequence (phosphate-sugar-base) of nucleotide constituents.

  • In 1944, Oswald Avery postulated that DNA was the core molecule for inheritance of information.

  • In 1950, Erwin Chargaff, Austrian biochemist, concluded against Levene that one nucleotide never replicates in the same sequence. He also noted that composition of nucleotide differs in different species.

  • In 1950, Rosalind Franklin produced X-ray diffraction study of DNA structure. Her pioneering work paved a way to 3D structure of DNA by Watson and Crick. She remained unacknowledged.

  • In 1953, American biologist, James Watson, and English physicist, Francis Crick, restructured data regarding DNA and put forward a double-helix model of DNA.

  • In 1961, DNA was synthesized by Kornberg.

Suggested Readings

  1. Alberti KGMN (ed) (1978) Recent advances in clinical biochemistry. Churchill Livingstone, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L, Clarke ND (2002) Biochemistry. W. H. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Calladine CR, Drew HR, Luisi BF, Travers AA (2003) Understanding DNA: the molecule & how it works. Elsevier Academic, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  4. Conn EE, Stump PK (1969) Outline of biochemistry, 2nd edn. Wiley, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  5. Davidson JN (1965) Biochemistry of nucleic acids, 5th edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Korenberg A (1980) DNA replication. W. H. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anil Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiochemistryEklavya Dental College and HospitalKotputliIndia

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