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Life 2015, 5(1), 247-268;

RNA Synthesis by in Vitro Selected Ribozymes for Recreating an RNA World

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0356, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Niles Lehman
Received: 2 October 2014 / Revised: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Origins and Early Evolution of RNA)
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The RNA world hypothesis states that during an early stage of life, RNA molecules functioned as genome and as the only genome-encoded catalyst. This hypothesis is supported by several lines of evidence, one of which is the in vitro selection of catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) in the laboratory for a wide range of reactions that might have been used by RNA world organisms. This review focuses on three types of ribozymes that could have been involved in the synthesis of RNA, the core activity in the self-replication of RNA world organisms. These ribozyme classes catalyze nucleoside synthesis, triphosphorylation, and the polymerization of nucleoside triphosphates. The strengths and weaknesses regarding each ribozyme’s possible function in a self-replicating RNA network are described, together with the obstacles that need to be overcome before an RNA world organism can be generated in the laboratory. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA world; ribozyme; origin of life RNA world; ribozyme; origin of life

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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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Martin, L.L.; Unrau, P.J.; Müller, U.F. RNA Synthesis by in Vitro Selected Ribozymes for Recreating an RNA World. Life 2015, 5, 247-268.

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