Mapping the landscape of potentially primordial informational oligomers: oligodipeptides and oligodipeptoids tagged with triazines as recognition elements.
Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Impact Factor: 11.34). 02/2007; 46(14):2470-7. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200603207
Article: Progress Toward Synthetic Cells.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The complexity of even the simplest known life forms makes efforts to synthesize living cells from inanimate components seem like a daunting task. However, recent progress toward the creation of synthetic cells, ranging from simple protocells to artificial cells approaching the complexity of bacteria, suggests that the synthesis of life is now a realistic goal. Protocell research, fueled by advances in the biophysics of primitive membranes and the chemistry of nucleic acid replication, is providing new insights into the origin of cellular life. Parallel efforts to construct more complex artificial cells, incorporating translational machinery and protein enzymes, are providing information about the requirements for protein-based life. We discuss recent advances and remaining challenges in the synthesis of artificial cells, the possibility of creating new forms of life distinct from existing biology, and the promise of this research for gaining a deeper understanding of the nature of living systems. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 83 is June 02, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual review of biochemistry 03/2014; · 29.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The origin of RNA is one of the most formidable problems facing prebiotic chemists. We consider RNA as a product of evolution, as opposed to the more conventional view of RNA as originally being the product of abiotic processes. We have come to accept that life's informational polymers have changed in chemical structure since their emergence, which presents a quandary similar to the paradox of "My Grandfather's Axe". Here, we discuss reasons why all contemporary components of RNA-the nucleobases, ribose, and phosphate-are not likely the original components of the first informational polymer(s) of life. We also evaluate three distinct models put forth as pathways for how the earliest informational polymers might have assembled. We see the quest to uncover the ancestors of RNA as an exciting scientific journey, one that is already providing additional chemical constraints on the origin of life and one that has the potential to produce self-assembling materials, novel catalysis, and bioactive compounds.Chemistry & biology 04/2013; 20(4):466-74. · 6.52 Impact Factor
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