Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 83 (12), 4360-3

A Model for the RNA-catalyzed Replication of RNA

A Model for the RNA-catalyzed Replication of RNA

T R Cech. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Abstract

A shortened form of the self-splicing ribosomal RNA intervening sequence of Tetrahymena thermophila has enzymatic activity as a poly(cytidylic acid) polymerase [Zaug, A.J. & Cech, T.R. (1986) Science 231, 470-475]. Based on the known properties of this enzyme, a detailed model is developed for the template-dependent synthesis of RNA by an RNA polymerase itself made of RNA. The monomer units for RNA synthesis are tetra- and pentanucleotides of random base sequence. Polymerization occurs in a 5'-to-3' direction, and elongation rates are expected to approach two residues per minute. If the RNA enzyme could use another copy of itself as a template, RNA self-replication could be achieved. Thus, it seems possible that RNA catalysts might have played a part in prebiotic nucleic acid replication, prior to the availability of useful proteins.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 54 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. EMBO J. 1983;2(1):33-8 - PubMed
    1. Cell. 1986 Jan 31;44(2):213-23 - PubMed
    1. J Mol Biol. 1968 Dec;38(3):381-93 - PubMed
    1. Naturwissenschaften. 1971 Oct;58(10):465-523 - PubMed
    1. Science. 1973 Jun 1;180(4089):916-27 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback