Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 3–5 | Cite as

An RNA replisome as the ancestor of the ribosome

  • John H. Campbell


The ribosome is proposed to have evolved from an earlier RNA-replisome, which synthesized RNA. Ancestral tRNA molecules originally were loaded with trinucleotide sequences and donated them to growing RNA chains. The enzymatic addition of the C-C-A trinucleotide to presentday transfer RNA molecules is a carryover from this function. The strategies of reading RNA sequences by triplet codons and of housing information genetically in special repository molecules predates the origin of protein and DNA. These latter two polymers arose together at the time when the RNA replisome was converted to a ribosome.

Key words

Repository RNA Triplet code Origin of protein synthesis RNA replication RNA world Transfer RNA Translation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Center for the Study of EvolutionUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Origin of LifeUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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