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Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1293; doi:10.3390/molecules21101293

Group I Intron Internal Guide Sequence Binding Strength as a Component of Ribozyme Network Formation

Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97202, USA
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Academic Editor: Sabine Müller
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 22 September 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ribozymes and RNA Catalysis)
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Abstract

Origins-of-life research requires searching for a plausible transition from simple chemicals to larger macromolecules that can both hold information and catalyze their own production. We have previously shown that some group I intron ribozymes possess the ability to help synthesize other ribozyme genotypes by recombination reactions in small networks in an autocatalytic fashion. By simplifying these recombination reactions, using fluorescent anisotropy, we quantified the thermodynamic binding strength between two nucleotides of two group I intron RNA fragments for all 16 possible genotype combinations. We provide evidence that the binding strength (KD) between the 3-nucleotide internal guide sequence (IGS) of one ribozyme and its complement in another is correlated to the catalytic ability of the ribozyme. This work demonstrates that one can begin to deconstruct the thermodynamic basis of information in prebiotic RNA systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA; ribozymes; origins of life; internal guide sequence; recombination; fluorescence anisotropy RNA; ribozymes; origins of life; internal guide sequence; recombination; fluorescence anisotropy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Satterwhite, L.E.; Yeates, J.A.M.; Lehman, N. Group I Intron Internal Guide Sequence Binding Strength as a Component of Ribozyme Network Formation. Molecules 2016, 21, 1293.

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