RNA self-ligation: from oligonucleotides to full length ribozymes

Biochimie. 2012 Jul;94(7):1457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Mar 23.


The RNA-world-theory is one possible explanation of how life on earth has evolved. In this context it is of high interest to search for molecular systems, capable of self-organization into structures with increasing complexity. We have engineered a simple catalytic system in which two short RNA molecules can catalyze their own ligation to form a larger RNA construct. The system is based on the hairpin ribozyme using a 2',3'-cyclophosphate as activated species for ligation. 2',3'-cyclic phosphates can be easily formed and occur in many natural systems, thus being superior candidates for activated building blocks in RNA world scenarios.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biocatalysis
  • Computational Biology
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligoribonucleotides / genetics
  • Oligoribonucleotides / metabolism*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Polymerization
  • RNA, Catalytic / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Catalytic / chemistry
  • RNA, Catalytic / genetics
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism*
  • Temperature


  • Oligoribonucleotides
  • Phosphates
  • RNA, Catalytic