Dresden 2017 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 20: Posters - Physics of the Genesis of Life (Focus Session)

BP 20.2: Poster

Dienstag, 21. März 2017, 14:00–16:00, P1A

Replicating codon sequences only with tRNASimon Lanzmich, Thomas Rind, and •Dieter Braun — Faculty of Physics and Center for Nanoscience, LMU Munich, Germany

The origins of biological information replication constitute a major challenge for understanding the origins of life. Modern life employs a complex tRNA/RNA/protein machinery to build proteins and replicate DNA [1,2,3]. We present a purely thermally driven replication mechanism that selectively replicates sequences of short codons. It does not depend on a particular base-by-base replication chemistry, but only requires the hybridization of short complementary domains. Codons are carried by molecules very similar to tRNA [4]. Upon a few point mutations, the latter adopt secondary structures where the anticodon is framed by two stem-loops [5]. The stem-loops of different molecules are pairwise complementary, such that sequences of strands can form supramolecular chains. Replication of a template succession of these proto-tRNAs is facilitated by temperature oscillations and implements (1) binding of strands with matching anticodons to the template (2) fluctuations in the bound strands' hairpins hybridize to neighboring tRNA and (3) heating splits the replicate from the template. Experiments show that this purely physical ligation chain reaction proceeds exponentially and amplifies the template codons severalfold within a few temperature cycles.

[1] IUBMB Life 61, 99 (2009) [2] Science 244, 673 (1989) [3] RNA 16, 1469 (2010) [4] J.Comput.Chem. 32, 170 (2010) [5] PRL 108, 238104 (2012)

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