2,6-diaminopurine promotes repair of DNA lesions under prebiotic conditions

Rafał Szabla*, Magdalena Zdrowowicz, Paulina Spisz, Nicholas J. Green, Petr Stadlbauer, Holger Kruse, Jiří Šponer, Janusz Rak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

High-yielding and selective prebiotic syntheses of RNA and DNA nucleotides involve UV irradiation to promote the key reaction steps and eradicate biologically irrelevant isomers. While these syntheses were likely enabled by UV-rich prebiotic environment, UV-induced formation of photodamages in polymeric nucleic acids, such as cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), remains the key unresolved issue for the origins of RNA and DNA on Earth. Here, we demonstrate that substitution of adenine with 2,6-diaminopurine enables repair of CPDs with yields reaching 92%. This substantial self-repairing activity originates from excellent electron donating properties of 2,6-diaminopurine in nucleic acid strands. We also show that the deoxyribonucleosides of 2,6-diaminopurine and adenine can be formed under the same prebiotic conditions. Considering that 2,6-diaminopurine was previously shown to increase the rate of nonenzymatic RNA replication, this nucleobase could have played critical roles in the formation of functional and photostable RNA/DNA oligomers in UV-rich prebiotic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3018
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021


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