The main difference between DNA and DNase is that DNA is a nucleic acid whereas DNase is an enzyme, especially an endonuclease. Furthermore, DNA serves as the hereditary material of most organisms on the earth while DNase cleaves phosphodiester bonds between nucleic acid monomers of DNA.
DNA and DNase are two related biomolecules that serve as the substrate and the enzyme respectively. Both play a major role in recombinant DNA technology.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is DNA
– Definition, Structure, Role
2. What is DNase
– Definition, Role, Applications
3. What are the Similarities Between DNA and DNase
– Outline of Common features
4. What is the Difference Between DNA and DNase
– Comparison of Key Differences
Chromosomes, DNA, DNase, Hereditary Material, Nuclease
What is DNA
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is one of the two types of nucleic acids. It occurs inside the nucleus in eukaryotes and in the cytoplasm of prokaryotes. DNA is a polymer of DNA nucleotides. Each DNA nucleotide contains a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group attached to the deoxyribose sugar. The four types of nitrogenous bases that occur in the DNA are adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Each DNA nucleotide joins the next DNA nucleotide via a phosphodiester bond, which occurs between the 3’ hydroxyl group of the existing nucleotide and the 5’ phosphate group of the incoming nucleotide.
Under physiological conditions, DNA exists as a double-stranded molecule. It means each DNA molecule consists of two DNA strands, held together by the hydrogen bonds formed between complementary nitrogenous bases of the two strands. Therefore, the two strands in the DNA molecule are antiparallel; one strand runs from the 5’ to 3’ direction while the opposite strand runs from the 3’ to 5’ direction.
In addition, DNA serves as the hereditary material of most organisms. It stores biological information needed by the growth, development, and reproduction of the organism. Genes are the hereditary units on the DNA molecule. They undergo transcription and translation to produce functional molecules including proteins and RNA.
Furthermore, DNA is a self-replicative molecule, and it can synthesize new DNA from the existing DNA in a process called DNA replication. For instance, since DNA encodes for a huge amount of biological information, it is a large molecule. Therefore, in order to package inside the cell, DNA forms chromosomes, a type of higher organization of DNA along with proteins.
What is DNase
DNase is a type of DNA-binding protein that serves as a nuclease, which catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of phosphodiester bonds in the backbone of DNA. Generally, DNase is an endonuclease, which cleaves anywhere in the middle of the DNA strand. The two main types of DNases are DNase I and DNase II. The human gene, DNASE1 encodes the DNase I, which preferentially cleaves the phosphodiester bond adjacent to a pyrimidine nucleotide. DNase I can act on chromatin, double-stranded and single-stranded DNA. The main function of DNase I inside human cells is to recycle DNA. It is also involved in the DNA fragmentation during apoptosis. On the other hand, DNase II is an endonuclease which only cleaves single-stranded DNA. Also, it is functional at the acidic pH. Hence, this type of DNase is also known as acid DNase.
For instance, DNase I serves as a powerful research tool for the manipulation of DNA. It is used to degrade DNA during RNA isolation and reverse transcription preparations. Also, it is important in the identification of protein-binding sequences on DNA in a technique called DNase I footprinting. Other applications of DNase include the use of DNase to prevent clumping of the cultured cells and DNA fragmentation.
Similarities Between DNA and DNase
- DNA and DNase are two related biomolecules since they act as the substrate and enzyme to an enzymatic reaction, respectively.
- Both are important during biotechnology.
Difference Between DNA and DNase
DNA refers to a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes, serving as the carrier of genetic information. DNase refers to an enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of DNA into oligonucleotides and smaller molecules. These definitions themselves explain the main difference between DNA and DNase.
Type of Biomolecule
Moreover, DNA is a nucleic acid while DNase is an enzyme (protein).
The monomers of DNA are the DNA nucleotides while the monomers of DNase are the amino acids. Hence, this is another difference between DNA and DNase.
DNA replication is the mechanism responsible for the synthesis of new DNA by using existing DNA as the template while the synthesis of DNase occurs by the transcription and translation of DNase genes.
One more difference between DNA and DNase is that the DNA occurs inside the nucleus while DNase occurs in the cytoplasm.
Furthermore, DNA contains the genetic information required by the growth, development, and reproduction of organisms while DNase catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of phosphodiester bonds.
In addition, DNA serves as the hereditary material of most organisms while DNase cleaves DNA into oligosaccharides.
Uses in Biotechnology
Their use in biotechnology is another difference between DNA and DNase. DNA contains genes with relevant information while DNase is involved in the purification of RNA.
In conclusion, DNA is the hereditary material of most organisms and it encodes the genetic information for the synthesis of proteins. DNase, on the other hand, is a nuclease which catalyzes the cleavage of DNA into small fragments. Therefore, the main difference between DNA and DNase is the role of each biomolecule inside the cell.
1. “What Is DNA? – Genetics Home Reference – NIH.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Available Here
2. “DNase I Demystified.” Thermo Fisher Scientific, Thermo Fisher Scientific. Available Here
1. “DNA chemical structure” By Madprime (talk · contribs) – Own work The source code of this SVG is valid.This vector image was created with Inkscape. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “DNAse hypersensitive site” By Wang Y-M, Zhou P, Wang L-Y, Li Z-H, Zhang Y-N, et al. – Wang Y-M, Zhou P, Wang L-Y, Li Z-H, Zhang Y-N, et al. (2012) Correlation Between DNase I Hypersensitive Site Distribution and Gene Expression in HeLa S3 Cells. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42414. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042414 (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia