The first bricks of life were already present on Earth 3.8 billion years ago!

How did life and the first biological molecules emerge from the primitive prebiotic soup? A new study on basic proteins takes a small step forward in understanding our origins.

question of origin andEvolution A fundamentally unresolved question of life on Earth has long been, and still is, a fundamental question. How did primitive life originate “Primitive Soup” Purely mineral, what made up the oceans 4 billion years ago?

road to formation of molecules Being able to self-replicate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The foundation of this process may rest on Peptides And this protein, However, it appears that the essential, central element without which life cannot exist is the ability to manage energy. It is one of the very definitions of life: the ability to store and use energy, whatever it may be.

Oxidation-reduction reactions at the base of life on Earth

However, the basic biological reactions that occur within living cells are oxidation-reduction reactions that involve the transfer of electrons, thereby providing the necessary energy. This observation implies that oxidation-reduction reactions must have been one of the first functionalities achieved by all first form of life, Therefore understanding the molecular evolution responsible for inducing oxidation-reduction reactions could potentially help unravel the mystery of the origin of life.

In this context of reactions involving the transfer of electrons, the presence of metals There seems to be a moot point in the atmosphere. Indeed, metals are the most effective chemical element in the transfer of electrons and appear to be frequently involved in oxidation-reduction reactions. Researchers at Rutgers University in the United States therefore took an interest in the structures of metal-associated proteins, believing that they would have formed an excellent starting point for the many functionalities of living organisms. These structures may also be the basis of much earlier biological functions during the earlier stages ofdevelopment of life, A simple motif with an essential energy function that would have varied later.

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So the researchers traced the evolution of these special proteins containing metallic elements. It appears that these are made of proteins base bricks who meet frequently. Furthermore, the arrangement of these basic diagrams suggests that all of these proteins are descendants of one or very few ancestors.

The building blocks present before the assembly of the first protein

Study results published in science advance, therefore suggesting that peptides that make up basic proteins should be used to facilitate the transfer of electrons, a step that is absolutely essential for living organisms. Basic elements for essential energy functions, so they would have been widely reused and adapted to a variety of biological functions, which explains why we find a similar structure in all functionalities of living things today.

However, peptides are composed ofamino acids, which means that these were already present in the “primitive soup”. The researchers also suggest that the first peptides with biological functions already existed before the assembly of the first proteins, 3.8 billion years ago.


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