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Nonenzymatic template-directed RNA synthesis inside model protocells.


ABSTRACT: Efforts to recreate a prebiotically plausible protocell, in which RNA replication occurs within a fatty acid vesicle, have been stalled by the destabilizing effect of Mg(2+) on fatty acid membranes. Here we report that the presence of citrate protects fatty acid membranes from the disruptive effects of high Mg(2+) ion concentrations while allowing RNA copying to proceed, while also protecting single-stranded RNA from Mg(2+)-catalyzed degradation. This combination of properties has allowed us to demonstrate the chemical copying of RNA templates inside fatty acid vesicles, which in turn allows for an increase in copying efficiency by bathing the vesicles in a continuously refreshed solution of activated nucleotides.

SUBMITTER: Adamala K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4104020 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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