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Life 2016, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/life6010012

Coevolution Theory of the Genetic Code at Age Forty: Pathway to Translation and Synthetic Life

Division of Life Science and Applied Genomics Center, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
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Academic Editor: Pier Luigi Luisi
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 26 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology)
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Abstract

The origins of the components of genetic coding are examined in the present study. Genetic information arose from replicator induction by metabolite in accordance with the metabolic expansion law. Messenger RNA and transfer RNA stemmed from a template for binding the aminoacyl-RNA synthetase ribozymes employed to synthesize peptide prosthetic groups on RNAs in the Peptidated RNA World. Coevolution of the genetic code with amino acid biosynthesis generated tRNA paralogs that identify a last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of extant life close to Methanopyrus, which in turn points to archaeal tRNA introns as the most primitive introns and the anticodon usage of Methanopyrus as an ancient mode of wobble. The prediction of the coevolution theory of the genetic code that the code should be a mutable code has led to the isolation of optional and mandatory synthetic life forms with altered protein alphabets. View Full-Text
Keywords: gene; messenger RNA; transfer RNA; coevolution theory; Peptidated RNA World; last universal common ancestor (LUCA); intron; wobble gene; messenger RNA; transfer RNA; coevolution theory; Peptidated RNA World; last universal common ancestor (LUCA); intron; wobble
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

Wong, J.T.-F.; Ng, S.-K.; Mat, W.-K.; Hu, T.; Xue, H. Coevolution Theory of the Genetic Code at Age Forty: Pathway to Translation and Synthetic Life. Life 2016, 6, 12.

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