Description

Life is believed to have developed as the descendant from simple organisms that lived during early Earth, in which ribonucleic acid (RNA) carried genetic information and catalyzed its own replication. This is described by the RNA world hypothesis, which also holds that these organisms evolved to incorporate DNA and protein into their biology, eventually leading to current life forms. Core components of this hypothesis are ribozymes, which are RNA polymers that are able to be both catalysts and propagators of genetic information. The further investigation of ribozymes may indicate how RNA world organisms could have existed. Due to the modern interdependence of proteins and nucleic acids, it is likely that ribozymes were surrounded by amino acids and peptides, which have been generated in experiments that mimicked prebiotic conditions. The current study focuses on the effects of peptides on the ribozyme?s catalytic activity, which will be investigated using in vitro selection assays. Here we present the results of the synthesis and characterization of ten prebiotically plausible peptides. The syntheses were completed using Fmoc chemistry and solid phase peptide synthesis techniques, and the characterization was performed with reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The peptides will be co-incubated with ribozymes using in-vitro selection assays, to determine if they enhance their catalytic ability. The results of this investigation may open a novel focus within the RNA world hypothesis, introducing insights regarding the chemical interactions between nucleic acids and polypeptides the and processes that ultimately led to the origins of life.

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Synthesis of Peptides Containing Prebiotically-Plausible Amino Acids for the RNA World Hypothesis

Life is believed to have developed as the descendant from simple organisms that lived during early Earth, in which ribonucleic acid (RNA) carried genetic information and catalyzed its own replication. This is described by the RNA world hypothesis, which also holds that these organisms evolved to incorporate DNA and protein into their biology, eventually leading to current life forms. Core components of this hypothesis are ribozymes, which are RNA polymers that are able to be both catalysts and propagators of genetic information. The further investigation of ribozymes may indicate how RNA world organisms could have existed. Due to the modern interdependence of proteins and nucleic acids, it is likely that ribozymes were surrounded by amino acids and peptides, which have been generated in experiments that mimicked prebiotic conditions. The current study focuses on the effects of peptides on the ribozyme?s catalytic activity, which will be investigated using in vitro selection assays. Here we present the results of the synthesis and characterization of ten prebiotically plausible peptides. The syntheses were completed using Fmoc chemistry and solid phase peptide synthesis techniques, and the characterization was performed with reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The peptides will be co-incubated with ribozymes using in-vitro selection assays, to determine if they enhance their catalytic ability. The results of this investigation may open a novel focus within the RNA world hypothesis, introducing insights regarding the chemical interactions between nucleic acids and polypeptides the and processes that ultimately led to the origins of life.

 

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