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Special Issue "Ribose Selected as Precursor to Life"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Gaspar Banfalvi

Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
Interests: DNA replication; structure of RNA primer; cell cycle synchronization; chromatin condensation; animal tumor models; metastasis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with honor and pleasure that I announce a call for submissions to a Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences on the topic of “Ribose Selected as Precursor to Life”. Present day life on Earth takes place exclusively in cells with the hereditary information that proceeds from DNA through RNA to protein. The RNA world hypothesis assumes that RNA was the first type of genetic information that existed on Earth before modern cells arose. The DNA empire took over the role of primary genetic information much later during evolution, whereas proteins joined in even later. The major question in the Special Issue is how, in the absence of proteins, DNA and nucleotides RNA could have been synthesized from simple abiotic compounds? We encourage the submission of original research and theoretical papers that couple the formose reaction to the synthesis of the sugar–phosphate polynucleotide chains containing nucleobases. Other challenging questions that remain to be answered are on the (1) phosphorylation of ribose; (2) polymerization of ribose phosphate(s); (3) attachment of nucleobases to the sugar–phosphate backbone to generate non-genetic preRNA; (4) hydrolysis of polynucleotide chains and the formation of nucleotides; and (5) selection of nucleotides for the synthesis of genetic RNA. We welcome submissions that attempt to clarify these details. Authors are requested to indicate the step(s) of abioticRNA synthesis their paper refers  to.

All submitted articles will undergo peer review.

Prof. Gaspar Banfalvi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • abiotic precursors
  • origin of ribose formation
  • importance of ribose synthesis
  • phosphorylation of ribose
  • polymerization of ribose phosphate
  • attachment of nucleobases to backbone polymer
  • prebiotic fate of aldopentoses
  • preRNA synthesis
  • hydrolytic products of preRNA
  • formation of NTP substrates
  • genRNA synthesis

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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