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Thread: Uracil?

  1. #1 Uracil? 
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    Evolutonarily, speaking why does thymine, i.e. methyluracil, deaminate to uracil in RNA? Taking a molecular biology course and cannot get a straight answer.


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lime8 View Post
    Evolutonarily, speaking why does thymine, i.e. methyluracil, deaminate to uracil in RNA? Taking a molecular biology course and cannot get a straight answer.
    That's a wonderful question (I'm just saying so because I asked the very same one back when I was a freshman...). The answer I got, to the extent that I can recall it, was that I was asking the wrong question. The question one should be asking is why should DNA use thymine instead of uracil? And the answer to that question is that the methylation is protective against attack by common nucleases. Its hydrophobicity also augments the shape anisotropy energy to reduce the rate of non-specific binding. So DNA evolved in a way to reduce mutation rates from attack and from random transcription errors.


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