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Deoxyribosenucleoside vs. Deoxyribosenucleotide - What does dNTP stand for? (Dec/22/2010 )

Hi everyone I'm new to this forum!
I just started at an internship at NCI, and I'm having trouble finding a definite answer for what dNTP stands for.

I know that they are free nucleotides and are used by the Taq enzyme to synthesize new DNA during PCR, but I'm still confused by the acronym. I've read that dNTP to stands for deoxyribosenucleoside, but at the same time, many of the books and journals I am studying refer to dNTPs in PCR as deoxyribosenucleotides

Can anybody tell me which one is correct and why?


dNTP is a mixture of four deoxyribonucleotides - dATP, dTTP, dCTP, and dGTP. The N indicates it's a mixture of all, just like in DNA nomenclature where an N indicates any of the four bases at that position.


The only difference between a nucleotide and a nucleoside is the presence of phosphate.

Nucleosides are only 5 carbon sugar + base
Nucleotide is sugar + base + phosphate.

Thus, the correct terminology is deoxyribonucleotide.
If you want to be specific and write out the triphosphate, then it is correct to say nucleoside triphosphate. If you use nucleotide, you'd be implying phosphate twice. It's kinda like saying ATM machine (Automated teller machine machine).