Origin and Evolutionary Process of the Genetic Code
Abstract:The genetic code plots the relationship between a triplet base sequence on RNA and an amino acid that corresponds to a protein associated with a required function in organisms. Accurate knowledge about the genetic code, including its origin and evolutionary process, would be helpful for determining the causes of genetic disorders and discovering new medical treatments, as well as for understanding the origin of life. This review begins with discussion of several well-known theories on the origin of the genetic code. Then, a GNC-SNS primitive genetic code hypothesis, which we originally proposed, is explained in relation to the weak points of other theories. S and N denote G or C and any of the four bases, respectively. We also introduce our hypothesis of the GADV-protein world hypothesis on the origin of life, where GADV stands for the four amino acids, Gly[G], Ala[A], Asp[D] and Val[V]. Next, we discuss the reason why genetic disorders, which should be triggered by base replacements, are repressed at a low level under the universal genetic code. Finally, we explain the current difficulties we faced in treating genetic disorders, suggesting a prospect for a new type of treatments of these disorders.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2007
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