Borate Minerals Stabilize Ribose

  title={Borate Minerals Stabilize Ribose},
  author={Alonso Ricardo and Matthew A. Carrigan and Alison N. Olcott and Steven A. Benner},
  pages={196 - 196}
Evidence for an “RNA world,” an episode of life on Earth during which RNA was the only genetically encoded component of biological catalysts, is found in the ribosome ([ 1 ][1]), catalytic RNA molecules ([ 2 ][2]), and contemporary metabolism ([ 3 ][3]). That RNA could form spontaneously and 

RNA Synthesis Before the Origin of Life

Since RNA possesses both genetic information and catalytic abilities, it is a potential biopolymer that is thought to support primordial life before the present DNA-protein system. There were

Borate Minerals and RNA Stability

It is observed that borate itself does not stabilize RNA, which is a fundamental property of nucleic polymers and borate is an abundant component of the planet, hence the prebiotic interest of this analysis.

Borate and the Origin of RNA: A Model for the Precursors to Life

Proto-arcs are suggested as a geological setting sufficiently rich in borate to stabilize ribose during the Hadean, and could have protected ribose from degradation in the formose reaction, a potential process for prebiotic ribose formation.

The RNA World on Ice: A New Scenario for the Emergence of RNA Information

It is argued that prebiotic conditions associated with freezing, rather than “warm and wet” conditions, could have been of key importance in the early RNA world.

Mineral surfaces select for longer RNA molecules.

We report empirically and theoretically that multiple prebiotic minerals can selectively accumulate longer RNAs, with selectivity enhanced at higher temperatures. We further demonstrate that surfaces

A Direct Prebiotic Synthesis of Nicotinamide Nucleotide.

A prebiotic synthesis of phosphorylated nicotinamide ribose under conditions that also conveniently lead to the adenosine phosphate components of this and other RNA cofactors is reported.

Exploring the Emergence of RNA Nucleosides and Nucleotides on the Early Earth

This review presents historically important and recently published articles aimed at understanding the emergence of RNA nucleosides and nucleotides on the early Earth.

Mini-ribozymes and freezing environment: a new scenario for the early RNA world

It is suggested that prebiotic conditions associated with freezing could have been of key importance in the early RNA World, and the role of primitive catalytic RNA in the evolution of RNA size and complexity is discussed.

RNA: Prebiotic Product, or Biotic Invention?

Recent experimental work on the assembly of potential RNA precursors is reviewed, focusing on methods for stereoselective CC bond construction by aldolisation and related processes, and the relative accessibility of RNA and alternative nucleic acids is considered.



Modern metabolism as a palimpsest of the RNA world.

An approach is developed for constructing models of ancient organisms using data from metabolic pathways, genetic organization, chemical structure, and enzymatic reaction mechanisms found in

Prebiotic ribose synthesis: A critical analysis

  • R. Shapiro
  • Biology
    Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
  • 2005
The evidence that is currently available does not support the availability of ribose on the prebiotic earth, except perhaps for brief periods of time, in low concentration as part of a complex mixture, and under conditions unsuitable for nucleoside synthesis.

Isolation of new ribozymes from a large pool of random sequences [see comment].

An iterative in vitro selection procedure was used to isolate a new class of catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) from a large pool of random-sequence RNA molecules, leading to improvement of the average ligation activity and the emergence of ribozymes with reaction rates 7 million times faster than the uncatalyzed reaction rate.

Rates of decomposition of ribose and other sugars: implications for chemical evolution.

The results suggest that the backbone of the first genetic material could not have contained ribose or other sugars because of their instability, and the generally accepted prebiotic synthesis of ribose, the formose reaction, yields numerous sugars without any selectivity.

The complete atomic structure of the large ribosomal subunit at 2.4 A resolution.

The crystal structure of the large ribosomal subunit from Haloarcula marismortui is determined at 2.4 angstrom resolution, and it includes 2833 of the subunit's 3045 nucleotides and 27 of its 31 proteins.


We previously reported the spectral detection of the first interstellar sugar, which is known as glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), by observing six separate millimeter-wave rotational transitions with the