Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleoside

The main difference between Nucleotide and Nucleoside is very crucial to understand the key differences between the two. They are building blocks of nucleic acid, as nucleotides consist of the same components such as a nitrogenous base, sugar and a phosphate group. The main difference lies in their molecular composition as Nucleosides contain only sugar and a base whereas Nucleotides contain sugar, base and a phosphate group as well. A nucleotide is what occurs before RNA and DNA, while the nucleoside occurs before the nucleotide itself.

Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleoside

It is important to know the key differences between Nucleotides and Nucleosides as they are both building blocks in the process of creation. Another essential element that acts as a building block is the presence of Nucleic Acid and Genetic code that helps in the transfer of genetic information.

Difference between Nucleotide and Nucleoside



The chemical composition of nucleotide consists of a phosphate group, a sugar and a nitrogenous base.

A nucleoside has a chemical composition that consists of a sugar and a base without the phosphate group.

They are one of the major causes for cancer causing agents to this very day.

They are used as agents in medicine that are primarily used against viruses and cancer causing agents.

Some of the major examples of nucleotides are adenosine, guanosine etc.

Some of the key examples of nucleosides are the same as nucleotides only with the addition of phosphate groups.

Thus, these are the key differences between Nucleotides and Nucleosides. If you liked this article and would like to read more, download the BYJU’s app today.  You may also want to check out:

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