A multisubunit ribozyme that is a catalyst of and template for complementary strand RNA synthesis

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Science  29 Mar 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 5001, pp. 1605-1608
DOI: 10.1126/science.1707185


Derivatives of the sunY self-splicing intron efficiently catalyzed the synthesis of complementary strand RNA by template-directed assembly of oligonucleotides. These ribozymes were separated into three short RNA fragments that formed active catalytic complexes. One of the multisubunit sunY derivatives catalyzed the synthesis of a strand of RNA complementary to one of its own subunits. These results suggest that prebiotically synthesized oligonucleotides might have been able to assemble into a complex capable of self-replication.

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