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Threose nucleic acid

Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is a chemical similar to DNA or RNA but differing in the composition of its "backbone". TNA is not known to occur naturally in existing life on Earth.

DNA and RNA have a deoxyribose and ribose sugar backbone, respectively, whereas TNA's backbone is composed of repeating threose units linked by phosphodiester bonds. The threose molecule is easier to assemble than ribose making it a possible precursor to RNA.

DNA-TNA hybrid chains have been made in the laboratory using DNA polymerase.

TNA can specifically base pair with RNA and DNA, this capability and chemical simplicity suggests that TNA could have preceded RNA as genetic material.


  • Orgel, Leslie (Nov 2000). "A Simpler Nucleic Acid". Science 290 (5495): 1306 - 1307. doi:10.1126/science.290.5495.1306.
  • Watt, Gregory (Feb 2005). "Modified nucleic acids on display". Nature Chemical Biology. doi:10.1038/nchembio005.
  • Schoning, K; Scholz P; Guntha S; Wu X; Krishnamurthy R; Eschenmoser A (Nov 2000). "Chemical etiology of nucleic acid structure: the alpha-threofuranosyl-(3'->2') oligonucleotide system.". Science. PMID 11082060.

Nucleobases: Purine (Adenine, Guanine) | Pyrimidine (Uracil, Thymine, Cytosine)
Nucleosides: Adenosine/Deoxyadenosine | Guanosine/Deoxyguanosine | Uridine | Thymidine | Cytidine/Deoxycytidine
Nucleotides: monophosphates (AMP, GMP, UMP, CMP) | diphosphates (ADP, GDP, UDP, CDP) | triphosphates (ATP, GTP, UTP, CTP) | cyclic (cAMP, cGMP, cADPR)
Deoxynucleotides: monophosphates (dAMP, dGMP, TMP, dCMP) | diphosphates (dADP, dGDP, TDP, dCDP) | triphosphates (dATP, dGTP, TTP, dCTP)
Ribonucleic acids: RNA | mRNA (pre-mRNA/hnRNA) | tRNA | rRNA | gRNA | miRNA | ncRNA | piRNA | shRNA | siRNA | snRNA | snoRNA
Deoxyribonucleic acids: DNA | cDNA | gDNA | msDNA | mtDNA
Nucleic acid analogues: GNA | LNA | PNA | TNA | morpholino
Cloning vectors: phagemid | plasmid | lambda phage | cosmid | P1 phage | fosmid | BAC | YAC | HAC
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Threose_nucleic_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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