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J. theor. Biol. (2003) 220, 2745 doi:10.1006/jtbi.2003.3108, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
 

Summary: J. theor. Biol. (2003) 220, 27­45
doi:10.1006/jtbi.2003.3108, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
Translocation Properties of Primitive Molecular Machines and Their
Relevance to the Structure of the Genetic Code
M. Aldana-GonzaL lezn
w, G. Cochoz, H. Larraldey and G. MartiL nez-Meklery
wThe James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637-
1467, U.S.A., zInstituto de Fi´sica, UNAM. Apdo. Postal 20-364, 01000 Me´xico D.F., Mexico and
yCentro de Ciencias Fi´sicas, UNAM. Apdo. Postal 48-3, 62251 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
(Received on 9 November 2001, Accepted in revised form on 10 June 2002)
We address the question, related with the origin of the genetic code, of why are there three
bases per codon in the translation to protein process. As a follow-up to our previous work
(Aldana et al., 1998, Marti´nez-Mekler et al., 1999a,b), we approach this problem by
considering the translocation properties of primitive molecular machines, which capture
basic features of ribosomal/messenger RNA interactions, while operating under prebiotic
conditions. Our model consists of a short one-dimensional chain of charged particles (rRNA
antecedent) interacting with a polymer (mRNA antecedent) via electrostatic forces. The chain
is subject to external forcing that causes it to move along the polymer which is fixed in a
quasi-one-dimensional geometry. Our numerical and analytic studies of statistical properties
of random chain/polymer potentials suggest that, under very general conditions, a dynamics

  

Source: Aldana, Maximino - Centro de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

 

Collections: Physics