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Biochemistry. 2000 Dec 19;39(50):15548-55.

RNA-Catalyzed CoA, NAD, and FAD synthesis from phosphopantetheine, NMN, and FMN.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406-5043, USA.


A novel in vitro selection method was developed to isolate RNA sequences with coenzyme-synthesizing activities. We used size-heterogeneous libraries containing randomized ribonucleotide sequences of four different lengths (30N, 60N, 100N, and 140N), all with 5'-ATP initiation. Two RNAs, CoES7 (30N) and CoES21 (60N), are able to catalyze the synthesis of three common coenzymes, CoA, NAD, and FAD, from their precursors, 4'-phosphopantetheine, NMN, and FMN, respectively. Both ribozymes require divalent manganese for activities. The results support the availability of these coenzymes in an RNA world, and point to a chemical explanation for the complex bipartite structures of many coenzymes.

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