A Simpler Nucleic Acid

@article{Orgel2000ASN,
  title={A Simpler Nucleic Acid},
  author={Leslie E. Orgel},
  journal={Science},
  year={2000},
  volume={290},
  pages={1306 - 1307}
}
  • L. Orgel
  • Published 2000
  • Chemistry, Biology
  • Science
What was the genetic material of the earliest life forms on Earth if it was not RNA? As Orgel explains in his Perspective, the answer may be simpler nucleic acid polymers perhaps like the RNA analogs called (L)-a-threofuranosyl oligonucleotides or TNAs ( SchA¶ning et al .). These molecules have threose rather than ribose in their sugar-phosphate backbones and yet retain many of the properties of RNA including the ability to pair up in double helices. 
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References

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TNAs [(L)-alpha-threofuranosyl oligonucleotides] containing vicinally connected (3'-->2') phosphodiester bridges undergo informational base pairing in antiparallel strand orientation and are capableExpand
Chemical etiology of nucleic acid structure: comparing pentopyranosyl-(2'-->4') oligonucleotides with RNA.
TLDR
The alpha-arabinopyranosyl system is the strongest of all and in fact belongs to the strongest oligonucleotide base-pairing systems known. Expand
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TLDR
It is shown that ligation to form chimeras proceeds efficiently both on PNA and on DNA templates, and the relevance of these findings to discussions of possible transitions between genetic systems is discussed. Expand
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[formula: see text] The L-alpha-lyxopyranosyl (4'-->3') oligonucleotide system shows cooperative base-pairing in spite of containing only five instead of the usual six covalent bonds per repetitiveExpand