Ribonucleotides in DNA: origins, repair and consequences

DNA Repair (Amst). 2014 Jul;19:27-37. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2014.03.029. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


While primordial life is thought to have been RNA-based (Cech, Cold Spring Harbor Perspect. Biol. 4 (2012) a006742), all living organisms store genetic information in DNA, which is chemically more stable. Distinctions between the RNA and DNA worlds and our views of "DNA" synthesis continue to evolve as new details emerge on the incorporation, repair and biological effects of ribonucleotides in DNA genomes of organisms from bacteria through humans.

Keywords: DNA polymerase; DNA repair; DNA replication; Genome instability; Ribonucleotides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • DNA Replication
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • RNA / genetics*
  • Ribonuclease H / genetics*
  • Ribonuclease H / metabolism
  • Ribonucleotides / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics


  • Ribonucleotides
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Ribonuclease H