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Polymers 2010, 2(3), 211-228; doi:10.3390/polym2030211

Borate Minerals and RNA Stability

1 Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie “Charles Darwin”, Università di Roma, “Sapienza” Rome, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche, Università “Tor Vergata” 00133 Rome, Italy 3 Dipartimento ABAC, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 May 2010 / Revised: 7 July 2010 / Accepted: 12 August 2010 / Published: 16 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers)
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The abiotic origin of genetic polymers faces two major problems: a prebiotically plausible polymerization mechanism and the maintenance of their polymerized state outside a cellular environment. The stabilizing action of borate on ribose having been reported, we have explored the possibility that borate minerals stabilize RNA. We observe that borate itself does not stabilize RNA. The analysis of a large panel of minerals tested in various physical-chemical conditions shows that in general no protection on RNA backbone is exerted, with the interesting exception of ludwigite (Mg2Fe3+BO5). Stability is a fundamental property of nucleic polymers and borate is an abundant component of the planet, hence the prebiotic interest of this analysis.
Keywords: origin of genetic polymers; RNA stability; RNA hydrolysis; borate minerals origin of genetic polymers; RNA stability; RNA hydrolysis; borate minerals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Cossetti, C.; Crestini, C.; Saladino, R.; Mauro, E.D. Borate Minerals and RNA Stability. Polymers 2010, 2, 211-228.

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