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Helv Chim Acta. 1999 Nov;82(11):1799-805.

Nonenzymatic oligomerization reactions on templates containing inosinic acid or diaminopurine nucleotide residues.

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The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, CA 92186, USA.
U CA, San Diego, La Jolla


The template-directed oligomerization of nucleoside-5'-phosphoro-2-methyl imidazolides on standard oligonucleotide templates has been studied extensively. Here, we describe experiments with templates in which inosinic acid (I) is substituted for guanylic acid, or 2,6-diaminopurine nucleotide (D) for adenylic acid. We find that the substitution of I for G in a template is strongly inhibitory and prevents any incorporation of C into internal positions in the oligomeric products of the reaction. The substitution of D for A, on the contrary, leads to increased incorporation of U into the products. We found no evidence for the template-directed facilitation of oligomerization of A or I through A-I base pairing. The significance of these results for prebiotic chemistry is discussed.

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