Catalytic Synthesis of Polyribonucleic Acid on Prebiotic Rock Glasses

  title={Catalytic Synthesis of Polyribonucleic Acid on Prebiotic Rock Glasses},
  author={Craig A Jerome and Hyo-Joong Kim and Stephen J. Mojzsis and Steven A. Benner and Elisa Biondi},
  pages={629 - 636}
Reported here are experiments that show that ribonucleoside triphosphates are converted to polyribonucleic acid when incubated with rock glasses similar to those likely present 4.3–4.4 billion years ago on the Hadean Earth surface, where they were formed by impacts and volcanism. This polyribonucleic acid averages 100–300 nucleotides in length, with a substantial fraction of 3′,-5′-dinucleotide linkages. Chemical analyses, including classical methods that were used to prove the structure of… 
1 Citations

Figures and Tables from this paper

Visualizing RNA polymers produced by hot wet-dry cycling
It is concluded that RNA-like polymers and rings could have been synthesized non-enzymatically in freshwater hot springs on the prebiotic Earth with sizes sufficient to fold into ribozymes and genetic molecules required for life to begin.


Abiotic Synthesis of Nucleoside 5'-Triphosphates with Nickel Borate and Cyclic Trimetaphosphate (CTMP).
Nickel(II) results fill in one of the few remaining steps needed to demystify the prebiotic synthesis of RNA and support a continuous model from atmospheric components to oligomeric RNA that is lacking only a mechanism to obtain homochirality in the product RNA.
Unified prebiotically plausible synthesis of pyrimidine and purine RNA ribonucleotides
The synthesis of the pyrimidine nucleosides from small molecules and ribose is reported, driven solely by wet-dry cycles and is compatible with purine synthesis, allowing the concurrent formation of all Watson-Crick bases.
Lipid-assisted Synthesis of RNA-like Polymers from Mononucleotides
This work shows that RNA-like polymers can be synthesized non-enzymatically from mononucleotides in lipid environments, and is the first such application of a nanopore instrument to detect RNA synthesis under simulated prebiotic conditions.
When Did Life Likely Emerge on Earth in an RNA‐First Process?
The widespread presence of ribonucleic acid (RNA) catalysts and cofactors in Earth's biosphere today suggests that RNA was the first biopolymer to support Darwinian evolution. However, most
Prebiotic Chemistry that Could Not Not Have Happened
We present a direct route by which RNA might have emerged in the Hadean from a fayalite–magnetite mantle, volcanic SO2 gas, and well-accepted processes that must have created substantial amounts of
A Prebiotic Synthesis of Canonical Pyrimidine and Purine Ribonucleotides
It is reported that the glycosidic bond in canonical pyrimidine and purine ribonucleotides can be formed by direct coupling of cyclic carbohydrate phosphates with free nucleobases, all reported to be available by experimentally supported pathways that might have operated on early Earth.
Synthesis of carbohydrates in mineral-guided prebiotic cycles.
Detailed chemical analyses of carbohydrate premetabolism are provided, showing how borate, molybdate, and calcium minerals guide the formation of tetroses, heptoses, and pentoses, including the ribose found in RNA, in "hands off" experiments, starting with formaldehyde and glycolaldehyde.
Non-Enzymatic Oligomerization of 3’, 5’ Cyclic AMP
Polymerization of 3’,5’ cyclic nucleotides supports the possibility that the origin of extant genetic materials might have followed a direct uninterrupted path since its very beginning, starting from non-elaborately pre-activated monomer compounds and simple reactions.
Evaporite Borate-Containing Mineral Ensembles Make Phosphate Available and Regiospecifically Phosphorylate Ribonucleosides: Borate as a Multifaceted Problem Solver in Prebiotic Chemistry.
Borate minerals in evaporite geoorganic contexts offer a solution to the phosphate problem in the "RNA first" model for the origins of life.
Generation of Long RNA Chains in Water*
The enzyme- and template-independent synthesis of long oligomers in water from prebiotically affordable precursors approaches the concept of spontaneous generation of (pre)genetic information.