Achiral, acyclic nucleic acids: synthesis and biophysical studies of a possible prebiotic polymer†
The search for prebiotic, nucleic acid precursors is, at its best, a speculative undertaking. Given the complex structure of RNA, it is not very likely that RNA was the first information system in the universe and thus finding possible precursor/s i.e. pre-RNA remains an open challenge. We, in this paper, have tried to construct nucleic acid polymers with a simple acyclic, achiral backbone. Such a linear, achiral backbone may have been formed from simple monomers that may have existed in the “prebiotic soup”. We have shown that such polymers are capable of identifying the complementary “other self” and thus forming a potential system for information storage and transmission. This study thus involves investigation of nucleic acid analogues with a modified backbone that are likely to have formed in the prebiotic setting.