Structure of RNA and process of hydrolysis. (A) Chemical structure of RNA. The ribose, bases and phosphate group are labeled. The 2′-hydroxyl group (labeled) allows the RNA molecule to be more easily degraded via hydrolysis than DNA. Similarly, the phosphodiester bond (also labeled) in RNA can be broken during hydrolysis. The N-glycosidic bond (labeled) is stronger in RNA than DNA. (B) The chemical process of hydrolysis, where the 2′-hydroxyl group has attacked the adjacent phosphodiester bond, cleaving the backbone of the RNA.