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Biological Significance of Phosphoric Acid

We cannot completely fathom the importance of phosphoric acid in the biological processes. It is a part of our genetic make up in the sense that phosphoric acid is a part of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and the ribonucleic acid (RNA). The deoxyribose sugars in the DNA are connected using phosphoric acid entities by forming linkages called phosphodiester bonds. These phosphodiester bonds connect the 3’ hydroxyl group of one sugar to the 5’ hydroxyl group of the next sugar forming the backbone of the nucleic acids.


Part of a DNA backbone showing the phosphodiester bonds. The deoxyribose sugars are linked by the phosphate groups (indicated by the circles).
At normal biological pH range (7.35-7.45), the phosphate esters usually show a double negative charge. This property of the phosphate esters makes them generally water soluble, and thus perfect for the physiological environment in our body.
Another noteworthy biomolecule that contains the phosphate groups is the ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The ATP molecules act as one of the major energy currencies of living beings. It is a triphosphate ester. The formation of ATP from AMP (adenosine monophosphate) is shown in the below figure.
The formation of ATP from AMP


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