, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 282–292 | Cite as

Transfer-RNA, an early gene?

  • Manfred Eigen
  • Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch


The theory of self-reproductive molecular systems involves the consequence that translation must have started from a selected distribution of RNA molecules, that comprised GC-rich sequences of a length < 100 nucleotides. This implies a joint function of messenger and adaptor, which both had to be recruited from the same mutant distribution. The reconstruction of tRNA precursors yields such a molecule showing some reverberation of a codon pattern GNC. These findings suggest that tRNA has been the earliest component of the translation machinery.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Eigen
    • 1
  • Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische ChemieGöttingen

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