Phosphoric acid

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary

Definition

noun, plural: phosphoric acids

(molecular biology) An acid with a chemical formula, H3PO4, and serves as a component of nucleic acids, particularly connecting the pentose sugars through phosphodiester linkages


Supplement

Phosphoric acid is an acid that has a chemical formula of H3PO4.

In biological systems, the salt of phosphoric acid is a component of nucleic acids, particularly responsible for the connection of pentose sugars. The phosphoric acid forms phosphodiester bonds, which in turn connect the 3' hydroxyl group of the pentose sugar to the 5' hydroxyl group of the next. Another biomolecule that has phosphate groups is the nucleotide triphosphate (e.g. ATP). Phospholipids are lipids with one or more phosphate groups attached to it.

Phosphoric acids are largely used as fertilizers. They are also used as food additives. For instance, food-grade phosphoric acid is an ingredient in soft drinks and jams. It gives a tangy taste. In dentistry, the phosphoric acid is used as an etching solution. It is used to prepare the surfaces of teeth prior to fillings. In biology, the phosphoric acid may be used as a buffer for high-performance liquid chromatography.


Chemical formula:

  • H3PO4

Also called:

  • Orthophosphoric acid
  • Trihydroxylphosphine oxide
  • Trihydroxidooxidophosphorus

See also:

Related term(s):