Enzymatic incorporation of a new base pair into DNA and RNA extends the genetic alphabet

Abstract

A new Watson-Crick base pair, with a hydrogen bonding pattern different from that in the A·T and G·C base pairs, is incorporated into duplex DNA and RNA by DNA and RNA polymerases and expands the genetic alphabet from 4 to 6 letters. This expansion could lead to RNAs with greater diversity in functional groups and greater catalytic potential.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Gilbert, W. Nature 319, 818 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Orgel, L. E. J. theor. Biol. 123, 127–149 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    White, H. B. III J. molec. Evol. 7, 101–104 (1976).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Visser, C. M. & Kellogg, R. M. J. molec. Evol. 11, 171–187 (1978).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Rich, A. in Horizons in Biochemistry 103 (eds Kasha, M. & Pullmann, B.) 103–126 (Academic, New York, 1962).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Schram, G., Götsch, H. & Pollmann, W. Angew. Crtem. 73, 619 (1961).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Usher, D. A. & McHale, A. A. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 73, 1149–1153 (1976).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Cech, T. R., Zaug, A. J. & Grabowski, P. J. Cell 27, 487–496 (1981).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Guerrler-Takada, C. & Altman, S. Science 223, 285–286 (1983).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Doudna, J. A. & Szostak, J. W. Nature 339, 519–522 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Joyce, G. F., Schwartz, A. W., Miller, S. L. & Orgel, L. E. Proc. natn Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 84, 4398–4402 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Weiner, A. M, & Maizels, N. Proc. natn Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83, 7383–7387 (1987).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Benner, S. A., Ellington, A. D. & Tauer, A. Proc. natn Acad. Sci. U.S.A 86, 7054–7058 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Benner, S. A. et al. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. quant. Biol. 52, 53–63 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Switzer, C. Y. Moroney, S. E. & Benner, S. A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 111, 8322–8323 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Uhlenbeck, O. C. Nature 328, 596–600 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Piccirilli, J. A. thesis, Harvard Univ. (1989).

  18. 18

    Milligan, J. F., Groebe, D. R., Witherell, G. W. & Uhlenbeck, O. C. Nucleic Acids Res. 15, 8783–8798 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Coleman, J. E., Martin, C. T. & Muller, D. K. Biochemistry 27, 3966–3974 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Roy, K. B. & Miles, H. T. Nucleosides Nucleotides 2, 231–242 (1983).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Cobianchi, F. & Wilson, S. H. Meth. Enzym. 152, 94–110 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Leary, J. L., Brigati, D. J. & Ward, D. C. Proc. natn Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 80, 4045–4049 (1983).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Chen, T. R., Churchill, M. E. A. Tullius, T. D. Kallenbach, N. R. & Seemann, N. C. Biochemistry 27, 6032–6038 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Noren, C. J., Anthony-Cahill, S. J., Griffith, M. C. & Schultz, P. G. Science 244, 182–188 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Piccirilli, J., Benner, S., Krauch, T. et al. Enzymatic incorporation of a new base pair into DNA and RNA extends the genetic alphabet. Nature 343, 33–37 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/343033a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter for a daily update on COVID-19 science.
Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing