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Publication Detail
Synthetic genetic polymers capable of heredity and evolution.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Pinheiro VB, Taylor AI, Cozens C, Abramov M, Renders M, Zhang S, Chaput JC, Wengel J, Peak-Chew S-Y, McLaughlin SH, Herdewijn P, Holliger P
  • Publication date:
    20/04/2012
  • Pagination:
    341, 344
  • Journal:
    Science
  • Volume:
    336
  • Issue:
    6079
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
    336/6079/341
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    Aptamers, Nucleotide, DNA, DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase, Directed Molecular Evolution, Evolution, Molecular, Molecular Mimicry, Nucleic Acids, Polymers, RNA, RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase, Reverse Transcription, Templates, Genetic, Transcription, Genetic
Abstract
Genetic information storage and processing rely on just two polymers, DNA and RNA, yet whether their role reflects evolutionary history or fundamental functional constraints is currently unknown. With the use of polymerase evolution and design, we show that genetic information can be stored in and recovered from six alternative genetic polymers based on simple nucleic acid architectures not found in nature [xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs)]. We also select XNA aptamers, which bind their targets with high affinity and specificity, demonstrating that beyond heredity, specific XNAs have the capacity for Darwinian evolution and folding into defined structures. Thus, heredity and evolution, two hallmarks of life, are not limited to DNA and RNA but are likely to be emergent properties of polymers capable of information storage.
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