1932

Abstract

The mechanism and the evolution of DNA replication and transcription, the key elements of the central dogma of biology, are fundamentally well explained by the physicochemical complementarity between strands of nucleic acids. However, the determinants that have shaped the third part of the dogma—the process of biological translation and the universal genetic code—remain unclear. We review and seek parallels between different proposals that view the evolution of translation through the prism of weak, noncovalent interactions between biological macromolecules. In particular, we focus on a recent proposal that there exists a hitherto unrecognized complementarity at the heart of biology, that between messenger RNA coding regions and the proteins that they encode, especially if the two are unstructured. Reflecting the idea that the genetic code evolved from intrinsic binding propensities between nucleotides and amino acids, this proposal promises to forge a link between the distant past and the present of biological systems.

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2023-05-09
2024-06-14
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