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Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 1180-1200; doi:10.3390/sym2021180

Experimental Test of L- and D-Amino Acid Binding to L- and D-Codons Suggests that Homochirality and Codon Directionality Emerged with the Genetic Code

Department of Physiology, 2174 BPS, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Received: 9 June 2010 / Revised: 18 June 2010 / Accepted: 22 June 2010 / Published: 23 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry of Life and Homochirality)
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Abstract

L-amino acids bind preferentially to their D-codons, but almost nothing is known about whether D-amino acids correspondingly prefer L-codons, or how codon directionality affects amino acid binding. To investigate these issues, two D-RNA-oligonucleotides having inverse base sequences (D-CGUA and D-AUGC) and their corresponding L-RNA-oligonucleotides (L-CGUA and L-AUGC) were synthesized and their affinity determined for Gly and eleven pairs of L- and D-amino acids. The data support the hypothesis (Root-Bernstein, Bioessays 2007; 29: 689–698) that homochirality and codon directionality emerged as a function of the origin of the genetic code itself. Further tests involving amplification methods are proposed.
Keywords: homochirality; origin of genetic code; codon; amino acid; chiral binding; molecular complementarity; origin of life; selectivity homochirality; origin of genetic code; codon; amino acid; chiral binding; molecular complementarity; origin of life; selectivity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Root-Bernstein, R. Experimental Test of L- and D-Amino Acid Binding to L- and D-Codons Suggests that Homochirality and Codon Directionality Emerged with the Genetic Code. Symmetry 2010, 2, 1180-1200.

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