Evolutionary role of abortive transcript as a primer for DNA replication


Abortive cycling features transcription initiation by RNA polymerase in both prokaryote and eukaryote. It is known that T7 RNA polymerase produces abortive transcripts up to eight ribonucleotides in length depending on the initial sequence of the DNA message. On the other hand, T7 RNA polymerase initiates DNA replication from the T7 primary origin by synthesizing primers. And the shortest primer from the φ1 · 1B promoter in the primary origin also seems to be eight ribonucleotides in length. Therefore, it is likely that the longest abortive transcript serves as the shortest primer for T7 DNA replication from the primary origin. Considering that promoters often exist in DNA replication origins for example, E. coli oriC and many eukaryotic origins, the early DNA replication system appears to have taken advantage of the abortive cycling of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that already existed before the emergence of DNA world. The evolutionary primitive RNA polymerase could do both transcription and priming of DNA replication. Accordingly, abortive cycling would play an important role in evolution at the emergence of DNA world. The priming activity of the primitive RNA polymerase would be taken over by primase later, which seems to be a specialized RNA polymerase for abortive cycling.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00160407

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@article{Matsumoto1994EvolutionaryRO, title={Evolutionary role of abortive transcript as a primer for DNA replication}, author={Joji Matsumoto}, journal={Journal of Molecular Evolution}, year={1994}, volume={39}, pages={620-624} }