Upstream Vs Downstream DNA: Know the Difference

Upstream Vs Downstream DNA

If you want to know the difference between Upstream Vs Downstream DNA, to have some basic knowledge about the structure of DNA is crucial. DNA is a self-replicating material which is the primary source of chromosomes. The full form of DNA is Deoxyribonucleic Acid, and it is made of the molecules known as nucleotides.

The structure of the DNA often divided into various levels like;

  • Primary,
  • Secondary,
  • Tertiary, and
  • Quaternary.

Apart from these four levels, if we talk about the main components of DNA; there are three main components;

  • Deoxyribose – A five carbon sugar
  • Nitrogenous Base
  • Phosphate

Now, before talking about the upstream and downstream DNA, let’s understand the general meaning of upstream as well as downstream. ‘Upstream’ basically means the flow on the opposite side, and ‘Downstream’ means the movement in the similar side. Am I correct? Now, how can we define these terms in the case of Biology? Read further to know more.

Upstream and Downstream DNA

In molecular biology and genetics, these two terms refer the relative position in DNA and RNA. Each strand of DNA has 5’ end, and each RNA strand has 3’ end. The Phosphate, plus an OH group and their attachment of 5’ and 3’ end determine upstream and downstream DNA.

So, we can say that upstream refers to “towards the 5’ end” and downstream refers to “towards the 3’ end.” In the area of a DNA, there are two strands, but between them, there is a strand which is a duplicate of RNA virtually.

Moreover, DNA has antiparallel nature of DNA. That’s why you can say that the 3’ end of the strand is upstream and 5’ end of the strand is downstream. Here, you should also keep in mind that sometimes, some genes may go opposite directions.

Difference Between Upstream and Downstream DNA

Upstream DNA Downstream DNA
Region Towards 5’ end Towards 3’ end
Fundamentals Promoters and Enhancers Transcription unit and Terminator sequence
Numbering Stated with negative numbers Stated with positive numbers
Utility Standardize and start transcription Produce a protein and dismiss the transcription

Above article is the possible comparison between these two – upstream vs downstream DNA! It will not be incorrect if we say that upstream and downstream DNA can be changed by the users of the reference gene. Thus, we can say that the difference between these two is quite complicated.

By the way

We, not being scientists, know DNA as an important part of our body and genetics. Nowadays, as technology improves day by day, you can do DNA testing at home. There are some best paternity testing kits available in the market which can help you to know your ancestry.

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