A possible approach to template-directed RNA polymerization
The emergence of an RNA world requires among other processes the non-enzymatic, template-directed replication of genetic polymers such as RNA or related nucleic acids, possibly catalyzed by metal ions. The absence of uridilate derivative polymerization on adenine containing templates has been the main issue preventing an efficient template-directed RNA polymerization. We report here the investigation of template-directed RNA polymerization in the eutectic phase in water-ice. In particular, it was found that activated Uridilate monomers in the presence of metal-ion catalysts could efficiently elongate RNA hairpins whose 5’-overhangs served as the templating sequence. The same applies for every other pyrimidine and purine nucleobase. Moreover, the initial elongation rates were always higher in the presence of a template complementary to the nucleotide than in systems without proper base-pairing opportunities. These results suggest that a template-directed RNA polymerization catalyzed by metal-ions could be carried out under eutectic phase in water-ice conditions.
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2008, Vol 102, p. 1104-1111
Non-enzymatic polymerization; template-directed reaction; Eutectic phase in water-ice