The evolution of the genetic code: Impasses and challenges

Kun, Ádám and Radványi, Ádám (2018) The evolution of the genetic code: Impasses and challenges. BioSystems. ISSN 0303-2647 (In Press)

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The origin of the genetic code and translation is a “notoriously difficult problem”. In this survey we present a list of questions that a full theory of the genetic code needs to answer. We assess the leading hypotheses according to these criteria. The stereochemical, the coding coenzyme handle, the coevolution, the four-column theory, the error minimization and the frozen accident hypotheses are discussed. The integration of these hypotheses can account for the origin of the genetic code. But experiments are badly needed. Thus we suggest a host of experiments that could (in)validate some of the models. We focus especially on the coding coenzyme handle hypothesis (CCH). The CCH suggests that amino acids attached to RNA handles enhanced catalytic activities of ribozymes. Alternatively, amino acids without handles or with a handle consisting of a single adenine, like in contemporary coenzymes could have been employed. All three scenarios can be tested in in vitro compartmentalized systems.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH359-425 Evolution (Biology) / evolúció
Depositing User: Dr Ádám Kun
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2018 21:21
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2018 21:21

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