The Origin and Evolution of Ribonucleotide Reduction
2015 (English)In: Life, ISSN 2075-1729, Vol. 5, no 1, 604-636 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ribonucleotide reduction is the only pathway for de novo synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides in extant organisms. This chemically demanding reaction, which proceeds via a carbon-centered free radical, is catalyzed by ribonucleotide reductase (RNR). The mechanism has been deemed unlikely to be catalyzed by a ribozyme, creating an enigma regarding how the building blocks for DNA were synthesized at the transition from RNA- to DNA-encoded genomes. While it is entirely possible that a different pathway was later replaced with the modern mechanism, here we explore the evolutionary and biochemical limits for an origin of the mechanism in the RNA + protein world and suggest a model for a prototypical ribonucleotide reductase (protoRNR). From the protoRNR evolved the ancestor to modern RNRs, the urRNR, which diversified into the modern three classes. Since the initial radical generation differs between the three modern classes, it is difficult to establish how it was generated in the urRNR. Here we suggest a model that is similar to the B12-dependent mechanism in modern class II RNRs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 604-636 p.
Allosteric Regulation, Deoxyribonucleotides, DNA building blocks, primordial hydrogen atom abstraction, Protein Evolution, radical chemistry, redox chemistry, ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), RNA/RNP world, structural phylogenetics
Research subject Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50965DOI: 10.3390/life5010604OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-50965DiVA: diva2:912967