The replication machinery of LUCA: Common origin of DNA replication and transcription

Eugene V. Koonin, Mart Krupovic, Sonoko Ishino, Yoshizumi Ishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Origin of DNA replication is an enigma because the replicative DNA polymerases (DNAPs) are not homologous among the three domains of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. The homology between the archaeal replicative DNAP (PolD) and the large subunits of the universal RNA polymerase (RNAP) responsible for transcription suggests a parsimonious evolutionary scenario. Under this model, RNAPs and replicative DNAPs evolved from a common ancestor that functioned as an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in the RNA-protein world that predated the advent of DNA replication. The replicative DNAP of the Last Universal Cellular Ancestor (LUCA) would be the ancestor of the archaeal PolD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalBMC biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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