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 andA fundamentally unresolved question of life on Earth has long been, and still is, a fundamental question. How did primitive life originate Purely mineral, what made up the oceans 4 billion years ago?
road toBeing able to self-replicate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The foundation of this process may rest on And this , 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, 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 ofThere 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 of , A simple motif with an essential energy function that would have varied later.
So the researchers traced the evolution of these special proteins containing metallic elements. It appears that these are made of proteinswho 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, therefore suggesting that the peptides that make up the basic protein should be used to facilitate the transfer of electrons, a step that is absolutely necessary for living beings. Basic elements for essential energy functions, so they would have been widely reused and adapted to a wide variety of biological functions, which explains why we find a similar structure in all functionalities of living organisms today.
However, peptides are composed of, which means that these were already present in the “primitive soup”. The researchers also suggest that the first peptides with biological functions certainly existed before the first proteins assembled 3.8 billion years ago.
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