Threose nucleic acid

Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is a polymer similar to DNA or RNA but differing in the composition of its "backbone". TNA is not known to occur naturally.

DNA and RNA have a deoxyribose and ribose sugar backbone, respectively, whereas TNA's backbone is composed of repeating threose units linked by phosphodiester bonds. The threose molecule is easier to assemble than ribose making it a possible precursor to RNA.

DNA-TNA hybrid chains have been made in the laboratory using DNA polymerase.

TNA can specifically base pair with RNA and DNA; this capability and chemical simplicity suggests that TNA could have preceded RNA as genetic material.

See also

* Abiogenesis
* Glycol nucleic acid
* Peptide nucleic acid


External links

* "Was simple TNA the first nucleic acid on Earth to carry a genetic code?", New Scientist

ORIGIN OF LIFE: A Simpler Nucleic Acid", Leslie Orgel


References

* Orgel, Leslie (November 2000). "A Simpler Nucleic Acid". Science 290 (5495): 1306–1307. doi:10.1126/science.290.5495.1306.

* Watt, Gregory (February 2005). "Modified nucleic acids on display". Nature Chemical Biology. doi:10.1038/nchembio005. http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/nprelaunch/full/nchembio005.html.

* Schoning, K;

   

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