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Efforts to develop self-replicating nucleic acids have led to insights into the origin of life, and have also suggested potential pathways to the design of artificial life forms based on non-natural nucleic acids. The template-directed nonenzymatic polymerization of activated ribonucleotide monomers is generally slow because of the relatively weak nucleophilicity of the primer 3'-hydroxyl. To circumvent this problem, several nucleic acids based on amino-sugar nucleotides have been studied, and as expected the more nucleophilic amine generally results in faster primer extension. Extending this logic, we have chosen to study morpholino nucleic acid (MoNA), because the secondary amine of the morpholino nucleotides is expected to be highly nucleophilic. We describe the synthesis of 2-methylimidazole activated MoNA monomers from their corresponding ribonucleoside 5'-monophosphates, and the synthesis of an RNA primer with a terminal MoNA nucleotide. We show that the activated G and C MoNA monomers enable rapid and efficient extension of the morpholino-terminated primer on homopolymeric and mixed-sequenced RNA templates. Our results show that MoNA is a non-natural informational polymer that is worthy of further study as a candidate self-replicating material.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society
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Enzymes that catalyze DNA template-directed extension of the 3'-end of an RNA strand one nucleotide at a time. They can initiate a chain de novo. In eukaryotes, three forms of the enzyme have been distinguished on the basis of sensitivity to alpha-amanitin, and the type of RNA synthesized. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992).
DNA-dependent DNA polymerases found in bacteria, animal and plant cells. During the replication process, these enzymes catalyze the addition of deoxyribonucleotide residues to the end of a DNA strand in the presence of DNA as template-primer. They also possess exonuclease activity and therefore function in DNA repair. EC 18.104.22.168.
An enzyme that catalyses RNA-template-directed extension of the 3'- end of an RNA strand by one nucleotide at a time, and can initiate a chain de novo. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992, p293)
A DNA-dependent DNA polymerase characterized in prokaryotes and may be present in higher organisms. It has both 3'-5' and 5'-3' exonuclease activity, but cannot use native double-stranded DNA as template-primer. It is not inhibited by sulfhydryl reagents and is active in both DNA synthesis and repair. EC 22.214.171.124.
Enzymes that catalyze the template-directed incorporation of ribonucleotides into an RNA chain. EC 2.7.7.-.
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