Insight into chemically driven nucleic acid replication
DNA replication represents a major evolutionary event as it allows organisms to pass genetic information to their offspring. However, our understanding of how nucleic acid replication occurred without genetically encoded enzymes is poor. The EU-funded RNA-Rep project is testing the hypothesis that non-enzymatic RNA replication can be accommodated by chemicals and that the resultant double-stranded molecule is separated by heating. Given that high temperatures induce membrane damage and leakage, researchers are investigating the scenario that single RNA strands are encompassed in protocellular compartments. The project will provide unprecedented knowledge on the mechanism of nucleic replication before the onset of Darwinian evolution.
Fields of science
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesnucleic acids
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculeslipids
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesgeneticsnucleotides
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesgeneticsRNA
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteinsenzymes