Nucleic Acid Structure and General Features

ID #1062

Is the synthesis of nucleic acid an endergonic or an exergonic reaction? I wasn't sure if it were endergonic because of the energy required to make the phosphodiester linkage or if it were exergonic because of the two phosphate groups that are released.

This would be an example of a coupled reaction, right? For determining which is exergonic and which is endergonic, think about what you are doing in that particular reaction. Your question is about synthesis of a nucleic acid. If you're building a bigger molecule (creating new covalent bonds), what have I been saying over and over about energy in this situation? It takes energy to create new covalent bonds, and it releases energy when you break a covalent bond. So from the synthesis perspective, it's endergonic, but from the perspective of the hydrolysis of the nucleotide, it's exergonic. It always depends on your point of view.

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