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Ribosome Structure, Function, and Early Evolution
Open AccessArticle

The Ribosome as a Missing Link in Prebiotic Evolution III: Over-Representation of tRNA- and rRNA-Like Sequences and Plieofunctionality of Ribosome-Related Molecules Argues for the Evolution of Primitive Genomes from Ribosomal RNA Modules

1
Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, 567 Wilson Road, Room 2201, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2
UMR SAD-APT, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78850 Grignon, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010140
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure, Function and Evolution of the Ribosome)
We propose that ribosomal RNA (rRNA) formed the basis of the first cellular genomes, and provide evidence from a review of relevant literature and proteonomic tests. We have proposed previously that the ribosome may represent the vestige of the first self-replicating entity in which rRNAs also functioned as genes that were transcribed into functional messenger RNAs (mRNAs) encoding ribosomal proteins. rRNAs also encoded polymerases to replicate itself and a full complement of the transfer RNAs (tRNAs) required to translate its genes. We explore here a further prediction of our “ribosome-first” theory: the ribosomal genome provided the basis for the first cellular genomes. Modern genomes should therefore contain an unexpectedly large percentage of tRNA- and rRNA-like modules derived from both sense and antisense reading frames, and these should encode non-ribosomal proteins, as well as ribosomal ones with key cell functions. Ribosomal proteins should also have been co-opted by cellular evolution to play extra-ribosomal functions. We review existing literature supporting these predictions. We provide additional, new data demonstrating that rRNA-like sequences occur at significantly higher frequencies than predicted on the basis of mRNA duplications or randomized RNA sequences. These data support our “ribosome-first” theory of cellular evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: ribosome; rRNA; mRNA; tRNA; SINE; LINE; genome; ribosome-binding protein; aminoacyl tRNA synthetase; extra-ribosomal; non-canonical; paralog ribosome; rRNA; mRNA; tRNA; SINE; LINE; genome; ribosome-binding protein; aminoacyl tRNA synthetase; extra-ribosomal; non-canonical; paralog
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MDPI and ACS Style

Root-Bernstein, R.; Root-Bernstein, M. The Ribosome as a Missing Link in Prebiotic Evolution III: Over-Representation of tRNA- and rRNA-Like Sequences and Plieofunctionality of Ribosome-Related Molecules Argues for the Evolution of Primitive Genomes from Ribosomal RNA Modules. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010140

AMA Style

Root-Bernstein R, Root-Bernstein M. The Ribosome as a Missing Link in Prebiotic Evolution III: Over-Representation of tRNA- and rRNA-Like Sequences and Plieofunctionality of Ribosome-Related Molecules Argues for the Evolution of Primitive Genomes from Ribosomal RNA Modules. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(1):140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010140

Chicago/Turabian Style

Root-Bernstein, Robert; Root-Bernstein, Meredith. 2019. "The Ribosome as a Missing Link in Prebiotic Evolution III: Over-Representation of tRNA- and rRNA-Like Sequences and Plieofunctionality of Ribosome-Related Molecules Argues for the Evolution of Primitive Genomes from Ribosomal RNA Modules" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, no. 1: 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010140

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