Volume 92 Issue 46 | p. 39
Issue Date: November 17, 2014

Ribozyme May Hint At The Origin Of Life

An RNA enzyme assembles RNA chains of opposite handedness
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: chirality, RNA world, cross-chirality, RNA, ribozyme

Researchers have developed the first cross-chiral biocatalyst—a right-handed (d) RNA enzyme that catalyzes the linkage of left-handed (l) RNA nucleotides into l-RNA chains. No other RNA or protein enzymes of one chirality are known to use substrates of the opposite chirality to produce biopolymers.

Such ribozymes could be useful for creating novel compounds, such as nuclease-resistant l versions of conventional d-RNA bioactive agents. Their development also gives a boost to the RNA world hypothesis—the idea . . .

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