The five-carbon sugar found in DNA nucleotides is called 2?-deoxyribose. It is similar to the ribose, a sugar found in RNA. Deoxyribose has one fewer oxygen molecule. Ribose and deoxyribose are the only five-carbon sugars found in nature.
The other two components in DNA include a triphosphate and a base that contains nitrogen. These three components make up a nucleotide. Each strand of the double helix in DNA is made up of a string of nucleotides. The triphosphate molecules each bind to two five-carbon sugars to create a chain. The base binds to the other side of the 2?-deoxyribose.
The four bases found in DNA are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Adenine and guanine are a type of molecules called purines and have two carbon-nitrogen rings. Cytosine and thymine are a type of molecules called pyrimidines and have one carbon-nitrogen.
When the two chains of nucleotides come together, they form a double helix that looks like a ladder. The bases are in the center of the helix, or the rungs of the ladder. Adenine binds with thymine and cytosine binds with guanine. The outside of the double helix is formed by the sugar-phosphate backbone.
Unlike DNA, RNA consists of a single strand of nucleotides made up of ribose, triphosphates and a base. The four bases found in RNA are adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil.