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New research sheds light on the origin of life on Earth

A team led by Rutgers addressed one of the deepest unanswered questions in biology and discovered the structure of proteins that may be involved in the origin of life in the primitive soups of ancient Earth. .. Credit: Rutgers

A team led by Rutgers addressed one of the deepest unanswered questions in biology and discovered the structure of proteins that may be involved in the origin of life in the primitive soups of ancient Earth. ..


Studies will be displayed in the journal Science Advances..

Researchers have investigated how primitive life arose from simple non-biomaterials on our planet. They ask, as we know, which properties define life, and whatever is alive to collect and use energy from energy sources such as the sun and hydrothermal vents. I concluded that it was necessary.

Molecularly, this means that the ability to shuffle electrons is of paramount importance to life.Since the best elements for Electron transfer It is a metal (think of a standard wire) and most biological activity is carried out by proteins. Researchers have decided to search for a combination of the two, a protein that binds to a metal.

They compared all the existing ones protein A structure that combines metals to establish common features. These shared characteristics are based on the premise that they exist in ancestral proteins and are diversified and inherited to produce the various proteins found today.

Since the evolution of protein structures requires an understanding of how new creases arise from existing ones, researchers have found that most of the metal-binding proteins currently in existence are the types of metals to which they bind. We have designed a calculation method that we found to be somewhat similar regardless of the organism to which it binds, either derived from the whole protein or assigned to the protein.

“While the protein itself may not be, it turns out that the metal-bonding cores of existing proteins are certainly similar,” said Yana Bromberg, Rutgers University’s New Brunswick School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, the lead author of the study. Professor Bromberg said. “Also, these metal-bonded cores are often composed of repeating substructures such as LEGO blocks. Curiously, these blocks are not only metal-bonded cores, but also other proteins. It was also found in regions and many other proteins. Our observation is that the rearrangement of these small building blocks has a single or a small number of common ancestors, currently available proteins and theirs. The full range of features may have arisen. In life as we know. “

“There is little information about how life originated on this planet. Our research contributes to previously unavailable explanations,” deciphers the DNA design of life’s molecular machines. Bromberg, who is conducting research focused on. “This explanation may also be useful in exploring life on other planets and planetary bodies. The discovery of specific structural building blocks is a synthetic organism that scientists aim to build new, particularly active proteins. It may also be related to academic efforts. “

The NASA-sponsored study also included researchers at the University of Buenos Aires.


Scientists have discovered the origin of the components of life


For more information:
Jana Bromberg, Quantification of Structural Relationships at Metallic Bonding Sites Suggests the Origin of Biological Electron Transfer, Science Advances (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abj3984.. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj3984

Provided by
Rutgers University

Quote: New research on the origin of life on Earth (January 14, 2022), obtained from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-life-earth.html on January 14, 2022. Shine the light

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New research sheds light on the origin of life on Earth

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