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Theories about the origin of life require chemical pathways that allow formation of life's key building blocks under prebiotically plausible conditions. Complex molecules like RNA must have originated from small molecules whose reactivity was guided by physico-chemical processes. RNA is constructed from purine and pyrimidine nucleosides, both of which are required for accurate information transfer, and thus Darwinian evolution. Separate pathways to purines and pyrimidines have been reported, but their concurrent syntheses remain a challenge. We report the synthesis of the pyrimidine nucleosides from small molecules and ribose, driven solely by wet-dry cycles. In the presence of phosphate-containing minerals, 5'-mono- and diphosphates also form selectively in one-pot reactions. The pathway is compatible with purine synthesis, allowing the concurrent formation of all Watson-Crick bases.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Science (New York, N.Y.)
The synthesis of nucleobases in natural environments, especially in interstellar molecular clouds, is the focus of a long-standing debate regarding prebiotic chemical evolution. Here we report the sim...
The synthesis of prebiotic molecules from simple precursors is believed to be a crucial scheme in order to study the origin of life processes. The present study describes the one-pot synthesis of puri...
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Nucleotides in which the purine or pyrimidine base is combined with ribose. (Dorland, 28th ed)
A purine or pyrimidine base bonded to DEOXYRIBOSE.
The key substance in the biosynthesis of histidine, tryptophan, and purine and pyrimidine nucleotides.
A purine or pyrimidine base bonded to a DEOXYRIBOSE containing a bond to a phosphate group.
Nucleosides in which the purine or pyrimidine base is combined with ribose. (Dorland, 28th ed)