The chemical logic of a minimum protocell


By jpeza - Posted on 05 Noviembre 2010

Fecha Publicación: 
1 Ene 1988
Datos del paper
Autor Principal: 
Morowitz HJ
Volumen: 
18
Issue: 
3
Página Inicial: 
281
Página Final: 
287
Abstract: 

Traditional schemes for the origin of cellular life on earth generally
suppose that the chance assembly of polymer synthesis systems was the
initial event, followed by incorporation into a membrane-enclosed volume
to form the earliest cells. Here we discuss an alternative system
consisting of replicating membrane vesicles, which we define as minimum
protocells. These consist of vesicular bilayer membranes that
self-assemble from relatively rare organic amphiphiles present in the
prebiotic environment. If some of the amphiphiles are primitive pigment
molecules asymmetrically oriented in the bilayer, light energy can be
captured in the form of electrochemical ion gradients. This energy could
then be used to convert relatively common precursor molecules into
membrane amphiphiles, thereby providing an initial photosynthetic growth
process, as well as an appropriate microenvironment for incorporation
and evolution of polymer synthesis systems.

Dirección del Autor: 

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.

Keywords: 
synthesis systems ; polymer
PUBMED: 
3226720
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