Proteins and Nucleic Acids in Prebiotic Evolution

  • J. C. LaceyJr.
  • D. W. MullinsJr.


The “central dogma” of molecular biology, as set forth by Watson and Crick in 1953 (1), and by Crick in 1958 (2), allows for the bidirectional transfer of genetic information between DNA and RNA, as well as from RNA to protein. Nevertheless, it came as no little surprise to many when Temin (3) and Baltimore (4) reported RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity from viruses. That genetic information can, in fact, flow from RNA to DNA has now been solidly incorporated within the framework of the “central dogma” (5), and has resulted in a great deal of excitement in several areas, notably cancer research (6). The discovery that RNA can serve as a template for the synthesis of DNA, however, has not altered the major prohibitory tenets of the “central dogma,” namely, that genetic information cannot flow from proteins to nucleic acids, nor from proteins to proteins. Other work presented in this volume by Lipmann, however, demonstrates that information does flow from proteins to polypeptides in contemporary systems.


Nucleic Acid Central Dogma Contemporary System Amino Acid Ratio PREBIOTIC Evolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. LaceyJr.
    • 1
  • D. W. MullinsJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular BiologyUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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