Walking over 4 Gya: Chemical Evolution from Photochemistry to Mineral and Organic Chemistries Leading to an RNA World
Here we overview the chemical evolution of RNA molecules from inorganic material through mineral-mediated RNA formation compatible with the plausible early Earth environments. Pathways from the gas-phase reaction to the formation of nucleotides, activation and oligomerization of nucleotides, seem to be compatible with specific environments. However, how these steps interacted is not clear since the chemical conditions are frequently different and can be incompatible between them; thus the products would have migrated from one place to another, suitable for further chemical evolution. In this review, we summarize certain points to scrutinize the RNA World hypothesis.
KeywordsPhotochemistry Mineral catalysis RNA world RNA bricks Hadean environment Hydrothermal sites Prebiotic chemistry
This study was supported by the Bilateral Joint Research Projects/Seminars between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in 2015-2017, and the JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP15H01069 in 2015-2017 and JP15K12144 in 2015-2017.
We are grateful to Anne-Lise Haenni for English improvement of the manuscript.
- Ding PZ, Kawamura K, Ferris JP (1996) Oligomerization of uridine phosphorimidazolides on montmorillonite: a model for the prebiotic synthesis of RNA on minerals. Origins Life Evol Biosph 27:107–118Google Scholar
- El-Murr N, Maurel M-C, Rihova M, Vergne J, Hervé G, Kato M, Kawamura K (2012) Behavior of a hammerhead ribozyme in aqueous solution at medium to high temperatures. Naturwissenschaften 99(9):731–738Google Scholar
- Huang W, Ferris JP (2002) Synthesis of 35–40 mers of RNA oligomers from unblocked monomers. A simple approach to the RNA world. Chem Comm 1458-1459Google Scholar
- Joshi PC, Pitsch S, Ferris JP (2000) Homochiral selection in the montmorillonite-catalyzed and uncatalyzed prebiotic synthesis of RNA. Chem Comm 2497-2498Google Scholar
- Maizels N, Weiner AM (1993) In: Gesteland RF, Atkins JF (eds) The RNA world. Cold Spring Harbor Lab Press, Plainview, pp 577–602Google Scholar
- Prieur B (2009) Phosphorylation of ribose in the presence of borate salts. Origins Life Evol Biosph 39:264–265Google Scholar
- Ryder G (2002) Mass flux in the ancient earth-moon system and benign implications for the origin of life on earth. J Geophys Res-Plan 107:E4Google Scholar
- Wetherill GW (1975) Late heavy bombardment of the moon and terrestrial planets, lunar Science conference, 6th, Houston, Tex., march 17-21, 1975, proceedings. Volume 2:1539–1561Google Scholar