The RNA World, 2nd Ed.: The Nature of Modern RNA Suggests a Prebiotic RNA World (1999, Volume 37)

Cover Page


The first edition of The RNA World, edited by Ray Gesteland and John Atkins ... appeared six years ago. The enormous progress made since then has prompted the editors, now joined by Tom Cech, to produce an impressive second edition. About half of the 24 chapters update contributions to the first edition; the remainder are entirely new chapters, also written by eminent experts.


The book contains a wealth of information in a condensed form and thus, for some years to come, will constitute a gold mine of bibliographic value even for those specializing in the various areas that are covered ... . All in all, a great book!


Each chapter has the perspective and depth that comes from a knowledgeable authority-the book has a stellar list of authors ... . Overall, the book is splendid and a 'must' for serious practitioners in the field. It is also essential for students taking graduate courses in nucleic acids.

-Trends in Biochemical Sciences

The book ... serves as an excellent reference for the structure, function, and enzymology of RNA ... highly useful for those working in the RNA field, and also as a textbook in graduate courses.

-The Quarterly Review of Biology

There is more to marvel at in the structure and function of RNA in this world than in the dimly perceived world that RNA may have called its own. One cannot help but think of this as a wonderful achievement, and perhaps the best reason for recommending The RNA World.


Table of Contents

Preface/Front Matter
R. F. Gesteland, T. R. Cech, J. F. Atkins
Excerpt       PDF     (i-xxv)
1 Before RNA and After: Geophysical and Geochemical Constraints on Molecular Evolution
Stephen J. Mojzsis, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, Gustaf Arrhenius
Excerpt       PDF     (1-47)
2 Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World
Gerald F. Joyce, Leslie E. Orgel
Excerpt       PDF     (49-77)
3 The Genomic Tag Hypothesis: What Molecular Fossils Tell Us about the Evolution of tRNA
Nancy Maizels, Alan M. Weiner
Excerpt       PDF     (79-111)
4 Probing RNA Structure, Function, and History by Comparative Analysis
Norman R. Pace, Brian C. Thomas, Carl R. Woese
Excerpt       PDF     (113-141)
5 Re-creating an RNA Replicase
David P. Bartel
Excerpt       PDF     (143-162)
6 Did the RNA World Exploit an Expanded Genetic Alphabet?
Steven A. Benner, Petra Burgstaller, Thomas R. Battersby, Simona Jurczyk
Excerpt       PDF     (163-181)
7 Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases and Self-acylating Ribozymes
Michael Yarus, Mali Illangasekare
Excerpt       PDF     (183-196)
8 On the Origin of the Ribosome: Coevolution of Subdomains of tRNA and rRNA
Harry F. Noller
Excerpt       PDF     (197-219)
9 Introns and the RNA World
Walter Gilbert, Sandro J. De Souza
Excerpt       PDF     (221-231)
10 The Interactions That Shape RNA Structure
Mark E. Burkard, Douglas H. Turner, Ignacio Tinoco, Jr.
Excerpt       PDF     (233-264)
11 Small Ribozymes
David B. McKay, Joseph E. Wedekind
Excerpt       PDF     (265-286)
12 The Role of Metal Ions in RNA Biochemistry
Andrew L. Feig, Olke C. Uhlenbeck
Excerpt       PDF     (287-319)
13 Building a Catalytic Active Site Using Only RNA
Thomas R. Cech, Barbara L. Golden
Excerpt       PDF     (321-349)
14 Ribonuclease P
Sidney Altman, Leif Kirsebom
Excerpt       PDF     (351-380)
15 The RNA Folding Problem
Peter B. Moore
Excerpt       PDF     (381-401)
16 RNA Interaction with Small Ligands and Peptides
Joseph D. Puglisi, James R. Williamson
Excerpt       PDF     (403-425)
17 RNA Recognition by Proteins
Thomas A. Steitz
Excerpt       PDF     (427-450)
18 Group I and Group II Ribozymes as RNPs: Clues to the Past and Guides to the Future
Alan M. Lambowitz, Mark G. Caprara, Steven Zimmerly, Philip S. Perlman
Excerpt       PDF     (451-485)
19 The Growing World of Small Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
Yi-Tao Yu, Elizabeth C. Scharl, Christine M. Smith, Joan A. Steitz
Excerpt       PDF     (487-524)
20 Splicing of Precursors to mRNAs by the Spliceosomes
Christopher B. Burge, Thomas Tuschl, Phillip A. Sharp
Excerpt       PDF     (525-560)
21 tRNA Splicing: An RNA World Add-on or an Ancient Reaction?
Christopher R. Trotta, John Abelson
Excerpt       PDF     (561-584)
22 RNA Editing—An Evolutionary Perspective
Larry Simpson
Excerpt       PDF     (585-608)
23 Telomerase
Elizabeth H. Blackburn
Excerpt       PDF     (609-635)
24 Dynamics of the Genetic Code
John F. Atkins, August Böck, Senya Matsufuji, Raymond F. Gesteland
Excerpt       PDF     (637-673)
APPENDIX 1: Structures of Base Pairs Involving at Least Two Hydrogen Bonds
Mark E. Burkard, Douglas H. Turner, Ignacio Tinoco, Jr.
Excerpt       PDF     (675-680)
APPENDIX 2: Schematic Diagrams of Secondary and Tertiary Structure Elements
Mark E. Burkard, Douglas H. Turner, Ignacio Tinoco, Jr.
Excerpt       PDF     (681-685)
APPENDIX 3: Reactions Catalyzed by RNA and DNA Enzymes
Gerald F. Joyce
Excerpt       PDF     (687-690)
APPENDIX 4: Visualization of Elongation Factor Tu on the 70S E. coli Ribosome
Holger Stark, Marin van Heel, Marina Rodnina, Wolfgang Wintermeyer, Richard Brimacombe
Excerpt       PDF     (691-694)
APPENDIX 5: The Large Ribosomal Subunit from H. marismortui at 9 Å Resolution
Nenad Ban, Peter B. Moore, Thomas A. Steitz
Excerpt       PDF     (695-696)
Excerpt       PDF     (697-709)