A deoxyribonucleotide is the monomer, or single unit, of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. Each deoxyribonucleotide comprises three parts: a nitrogenous base, a deoxyribose sugar, and one phosphate group. The nitrogenous base is always bonded to the 1′ carbon of the deoxyribose, which is distinguished from ribose by the presence of a proton on the 2′ carbon rather than an -OH group. The phosphate groups bind to the 5′ carbon of the sugar.
When deoxyribonucleotides polymerize to form DNA, the phosphate group from one nucleotide will bond to the 3′ carbon on another nucleotide, forming a phosphodiester bond via dehydration synthesis. New nucleotides are always added to the 3′ carbon of the last nucleotide, so synthesis always proceeds from 5′ to 3′.
- Coghill, Anne M.; Garson, Lorrin R., eds. (2006). The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-8412-3999-9.