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Selective Nucleobase Pairing Extends Plausibly Prebiotic Conditions to the Solid State

preprint
revised on 27.08.2019 and posted on 27.08.2019 by Tomislav Stolar, Stipe Lukin, Maša Rajić Linarić, Martin Etter, Krunoslav Užarević, Ivan Halasz, Ernest Meštrović
Despite its immense relevance in the context of the emergence of life, the pairing of nucleobases has only been observed for regioselectively methylated adenine and thymine. This is surprising as it raises the question why would nucleobases be incorporated into DNA if they were unable to self-assemble beforehand. Here, we have discovered that elusive pairing of methylated guanine and cytosine is readily available in the solid state by heating, where the two nucleobases self-assemble via Watson-Crick hydrogen-bonding. Dry heating preserves DNA-specificity as a four-component mixture of nucleobases provides self-assembly only of complementary pairs. We thus emphasize the importance of the solid state as the reaction medium, even for the supramolecular chemistry of life, which was thus far underexplored in the prebiotic context.

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

tomislav.stolar@irb.hr

Institution

Ruđer Bošković Institute

Country

Croatia

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-9824-4462

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest.

Version Notes

This is version 2.

Exports