Uracil (U) is one of four chemical bases that are part of RNA. The other three bases are adenine (A), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). In DNA, the base thymine (T) is used in place of uracil.
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Uracil is a nucleotide, much like adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine, which are the building blocks of DNA, except uracil replaces thymine in RNA. So uracil is the nucleotide that is found almost exclusively in RNA.
Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D.
Chief & Senior Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Molecular Pathogenesis Section
Dr. Brody investigates the genetics of breast cancer and neural tube defects. As chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch's Molecular Pathogenesis section, he is interested in studying genetic mutations that lead to perturbations in normal metabolic pathways and cause disorders such as cancer and birth defects. His laboratory investigates mutations in two breast cancer-linked genes, breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Dr. Brody's laboratory was among the first to report that women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without such mutations.