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Making nucleic acid monomers

Amino-containing four-carbon threose nucleic acids (TNAs) have long been considered to be prebiotically irrelevant due to their difficult formation. Now, a prebiotically plausible route to 3′-amino-TNA nucleoside triphosphate has been developed, raising the possibility of 3′-amino-TNA as a non-canonical nucleic acid during the origin of life.

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Fig. 1: The streamlined scheme of 3′-amino-threose nucleic acid triphosphate synthesis under prebiotically plausible conditions.


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Correspondence to Yajun Wang.

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Liu, Y., Wang, Y. Making nucleic acid monomers. Nat. Chem. 14, 725–727 (2022).

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