DNA polymerase-mediated DNA synthesis on a TNA template

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Jan 29;125(4):856-7. doi: 10.1021/ja028589k.


TNA, or threose nucleic acid, is capable of Watson-Crick base pairing with DNA, RNA, and TNA; coupled with its chemical simplicity, this suggests that TNA is a possible progenitor of RNA. As an initial step toward developing the molecular tools necessary to investigate the functional capabilities of TNA by in vitro selection, we have screened a variety of DNA polymerases for activity on a TNA template. We report that despite having a repeating unit that is one atom shorter than that of DNA, several polymerases showed surprisingly good ability to copy limited stretches of TNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • DNA / chemical synthesis*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / chemistry*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acids / chemistry*
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Tetroses / chemistry*


  • DNA Primers
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Tetroses
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • erythrose