attached to three phosphates (I Figure 12.7a). In DNA synthesis, nucleotides are added to the 3'-OH group of the growing nucleotide strand (IFigure 12.7b). The 3'-OH group of the last nucleotide on the strand attacks the 5'-phosphate group of the incoming dNTP. Two phosphates are cleaved from the incoming dNTP, and a phosphodiester bond is created between the two nucleotides.

DNA synthesis does not happen spontaneously. Rather, it requires a host of enzymes and proteins that function in a coordinated manner. We will examine this complex array of

triphosphate (dNTP)

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