Coding coenzyme handles

A hypothesis for the origin of the genetic code

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The coding coenzyme handle hypothesis suggests that useful coding preceded translation. Early adapters, the ancestors of present-day anticodons, were charged with amino acids acting as coenzymes of ribozymes in a metabolically complex RNA world. The ancestral aminoacyl-adapter synthetases could have been similar to present-day self-splicing tRNA introns. A codon-anticodon-discriminator base complex embedded in these synthetases could have played an important role in amino acid recognition. Extension of the genetic code proceeded through the takeover of nonsense codons by novel amino acids, related to already coded ones either through precursor-product relationship or physicochemical similarity. The hypothesis is open for experimental tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9916-9920
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume90
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1993

Fingerprint

Genetic Code
Coenzymes
Anticodon
Ligases
Amino Acids
Catalytic RNA
Nonsense Codon
Transfer RNA
Codon
Introns
RNA

Keywords

  • Origin of life
  • Ribozymes
  • RNA world

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

Cite this

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