Nonenzymatic Oligomerization on Templates Containing Phosphodiester-Linked Acyclic Glycerol Nucleic Acid Analogues

Abstract.

Nonenzymatic oligomerization reactions represent a model for studying the prebiotic replication of informational macromolecules. To explore the fitness of acyclic oligonucleotides in these reactions, we have synthesized a series of DNA hairpins appended with templates incorporating atactic glyceryl cytosine residues. Atactic glyceryl cytosine units are found to impede, but not to block, template-directed oligomerization of guanosine 5′-phosphoro-2-methylimidazole (2-MeImpG). Evidence suggests that both D and L glyceryl nucleoside configurations at a given template position contribute to product formation. The stability of DNA duplexes bearing isolated glyceryl cytosine residues has also been investigated. Duplex thermal denaturation experiments indicate that an atactic glyC · dG base-pair is intermediate in stability between a dC · dG pair and a dT · dG mismatch.

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Received: 2 May 2000 / Accepted: 1 August 2000

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Chaput, J., Switzer, C. Nonenzymatic Oligomerization on Templates Containing Phosphodiester-Linked Acyclic Glycerol Nucleic Acid Analogues. J Mol Evol 51, 464–470 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s002390010109

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  • Key words: Template-directed oligomerization — Chemical evolution — Pre-RNA