AQA A Level Biology

Revision Notes

1.5.1 The Function of DNA & RNA

The Function of DNA & RNA

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are both types of nucleic acid
  • DNA and RNA are both found in all living cells
  • DNA and RNA are both needed to build proteins, which are essential for the proper functioning of cells
  • DNA and RNA are both important information-carrying molecules, although their functions are slightly different


  • The function of DNA is to hold or store genetic information
  • DNA is the molecule that contains the instructions for the growth and development of all organisms


  • The function of RNA is to transfer the genetic code found in DNA out of the nucleus and carry it to the ribosomes in the cytoplasm
    • Ribosomes are where proteins are produced – they ‘read’ the RNA to make polypeptides (proteins) in a process known as translation

Author: Amelia

While studying Biochemistry at Oxford University, Amelia started her own tutoring service, helping to connect Science tutors with students in her local area. Amelia has experience teaching the sciences and Maths at all levels to UK and international students and, as well as being our Biology Lead, designs revision resources for Chemistry.

Join Save My Exams

Download all our Revision Notes as PDFs

Try a Free Sample of our revision notes as a printable PDF.

Join Now
Already a member?
Go to Top