Why DNA is more stable than RNA?

Why DNA is more stable than RNA?

Why DNA is more stable than RNA?  The simple answer is, Double Strand, Lacking 2′ OH, and the Stability of Thymine over Uracil make DNA more stable than RNA.

DNA is responsible for the replication and storage of genetic information. It is a blueprint for all genetic information present within an organism.RNA translates DNA’s genetic data into a version that can be used to build proteins and carries it to ribosome protein factories. However, DNA is more stable than RNA. Why DNA is more stable than RNA? 
The simple answer is, Double Strand, Lacking 2′ OH, and the Stability of Thymine over Uracil make DNA more stable than RNA.

Why DNA is more stable than RNA
Why DNA is more stable than RNA?

What is DNA?

DNA is called the building block of life. Present in every cell of our body. DNA acts on the molecular level for many behaviors, processes, and diseases. Sequences embedded in DNA are actually codes that help us create proteins that perform various functions on the human body. Genes cause various changes and manifestations in intracellular and extracellular organisms and also regulate the functions that each cell has to perform. 

Science has confirmed that genes act as a switch in cells to initiate any activity or to create a regulatory block for life. In the sense of molecules for life, it is true that DNA stands as an important building block for most species like plants, animals, and humans.

Moreover, we exist because of our DNA. It stores information about the genetic material in our body and the coding of amino acids and makes proteins in polymerization. Proteins mostly act as enzymes and thus accelerate our body’s metabolism. Proteins also act as metabolic mediators to help us survive.

What is RNA?

RNA seems to have only one strand, however, it is constructed up of nucleotides, just like DNA. RNA strands are less than half the length of DNA strands. RNA occasionally produces a secondary double helix shape, but only on rare occasions. RNA is composed of ribose simple sugars that lack the hydroxyl modifications found in deoxyribose.

Why DNA is more stable than RNA?

For the following reasons, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is far more stable than RNA (ribonucleic acid):

  1. Double Strand: DNA is double-stranded which makes it stable because,
  • The release of free energy by hydrogen bonding between bases provides thermodynamic stabilization.
  • The double-strand also keeps reactive bases (A, T, G, C) engaged with their linkages. Furthermore, the structure of the double helix prevents foreign electrophiles from reaching the area of bases. This avoids unanticipated reactions from occurring.
  • The double helix construction is self-supporting. The perpendicularly oriented bases connected by hydrogen bonding offer stability to the phosphodiester bond, allowing the helix structure to be maintained.

2. Lacking 2′ OH: OH groups are naturally reactive. However, in DNA, the sugar molecule lacks a spare OH group. Its lone OH group is consumed in the formation of phosphodiester linkages. This makes DNA even more resistant to chemical reactions. RNA, on the other hand, has an additional OH group that makes it chemically versatile.

3. Stability of Thymine over Uracil: Thymine is less susceptible to photo stations than Uracil. This increases DNA sensitivity to radioactive mutagenic substances.


  • DNA, unlike RNA, lacks a reactive OH group. 
  • Instead of uracil-like RNA, DNA contains thymine.
  • Thymine is a chemical with lower structural stability. 
  • Because DNA is double-stranded, the primary binding sites are already occupied by another DNA. 
  • There are repair processes in DNA. 
  • Histones bind to DNA, making it less accessible to reactants. It’s also in the nucleus, which is even more protected from reactants. 
  • The cytoplasm, which is rich in nucleases and other reactants, contains RNA. RNA (mRNA) is intended to be utilized and then recycled, but DNA must endure the lifetime of the cell and still be in good condition when handed on to progeny.

Final Words

Why DNA is more stable than RNA? Because the URACIL group in RNA has been replaced by THYMINE in DNA, the DNA molecule is far more stable than RNA. Because thymine is more resistant to photochemical mutations, the genetic code is more durable. 

As a result, Thymine increases the stability of the DNA structure. The Hydrogen bonding between the bases also contributes to the stability of the DNA molecule. Connections between the Bases that are hydrophobic.

Hridoy Kumar Paul is experienced in pharmaceutical and health blogs, author, and founder of www.drugscientist.com. Currently, Hridoy is pursuing a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Jashore University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. Articles on www.drugscientist.com are general information and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

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