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cyclic nucleotide

n. (context biochemistry genetics English) Any nucleotide in which the phosphate group is bonded to two hydroxyl groups on the same sugar

Cyclic nucleotide

A cyclic nucleotide (cNMP) is a single- phosphate nucleotide with a cyclic bond arrangement between the sugar and phosphate groups. Like other nucleotides, cyclic nucleotides are composed of three functional groups: a sugar, a nitrogenous base, and a single phosphate group. As can be seen in the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) images, the 'cyclic' portion consists of two bonds between the phosphate group and the 3' and 5' hydroxyl groups of the sugar, very often a ribose.

Their biological significance includes a broad range of protein- ligand interactions. They have been identified as secondary messengers in both hormone and ion-channel signalling in eukaryotic cells, as well as allosteric effector compounds of DNA binding proteins in prokaryotic cells. cAMP and cGMP are currently the most well documented cyclic nucleotides, however there is evidence that cCMP ( cytosine) is also involved in eukaryotic cellular messaging. The role of cyclic uridine monophosphate (cUMP) is even less well known.

Discovery of cyclic nucleotides has contributed greatly to the understanding of kinase and phosphatase mechanisms, as well as protein regulation in general. Although more than 50 years have passed since their initial discovery, interest in cyclic nucleotides and their biochemical and physiological significance continues.