Self-synthesizing materials, in which supra molecular structuring enhances the formation of new molecules that participate to the process, represent an intriguing notion to account for the first appearance of biomolecules in an abiotic Earth. We present here a study of the abiotic formation of interchain phosphodiester bonds in solutions of short RNA oligomers in various states of supramolecular arrangement and their reaction kinetics. We found a spectrum of conditions in which RNA oligomers self-assemble and phase separate into highly concentrated ordered fluid liquid crystal (LC) microdomains. We show that such supra molecular state provides a template guiding their ligation into hundred-bases long chains. The quantitative analysis presented here demonstrates that nucleic acid LC boosts the rate of end-to-end ligation and suppresses the formation of the otherwise dominant cyclic oligomers. These results strengthen the concept of supramolecular ordering as an efficient pathway toward the emergence of the RNA World in the primordial Earth.

Nonenzymatic Polymerization into Long Linear RNA Templated by Liquid Crystal Self-Assembly

Paraboschi EM;Asselta R;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Self-synthesizing materials, in which supra molecular structuring enhances the formation of new molecules that participate to the process, represent an intriguing notion to account for the first appearance of biomolecules in an abiotic Earth. We present here a study of the abiotic formation of interchain phosphodiester bonds in solutions of short RNA oligomers in various states of supramolecular arrangement and their reaction kinetics. We found a spectrum of conditions in which RNA oligomers self-assemble and phase separate into highly concentrated ordered fluid liquid crystal (LC) microdomains. We show that such supra molecular state provides a template guiding their ligation into hundred-bases long chains. The quantitative analysis presented here demonstrates that nucleic acid LC boosts the rate of end-to-end ligation and suppresses the formation of the otherwise dominant cyclic oligomers. These results strengthen the concept of supramolecular ordering as an efficient pathway toward the emergence of the RNA World in the primordial Earth.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/7963
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