Albany 2013: Book of Abstracts

category image Albany 2013
Conversation 18
June 11-15 2013
©Adenine Press (2012)

A prebiotic RNA apparatus functions within the contemporary ribosome

Ribosomes, the universal cellular machines, possess spectacular architecture accompanied by inherent mobility, allowing for their smooth performance as polymerases that translate the genetic code into proteins. The site for peptide bond formation is located within a universal internal semysymmetrical region, which was identified within all contemporary ribosomes. The high conservation of this region implies its existence irrespective of environmental conditions and indicates that it may represent an ancient RNA molecular apparatus. Hence we named it the “proto-ribosome”.

This prebiotic pocket-like RNA entity is suggested to be capable to accommodate substrates whose stereochemistry enables the creation of chemical bonds. It could have evolved from an earlier catalytic RNA entity that we named the “pre-proto-ribosome”, presumed to be a molecular machine capable of performing various essential tasks in the RNA world, which was snatched by the amino acids invaders for producing proteins.


M. Krupkin, et. al. (2011). A vestige of a prebiotic bonding machine is functioning within the contemporary ribosome. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 366, 2972-2978. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0146.

Miri Krupkin
Ella Zimmerman
Anat Bashan
Ada Yonath

Department of Structural Biology
Weizmann Institute
Rehovot, Israel

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