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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(4), 1838-1852; doi:10.3390/ijms10041838

Coenzyme Autocatalytic Network on the Surface of Oil Microspheres as a Model for the Origin of Life

Genetics Laboratory, National Institute on Aging, NIA/NIH / 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
Received: 17 February 2009 / Revised: 14 April 2009 / Accepted: 16 April 2009 / Published: 22 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Life)
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Abstract

Coenzymes are often considered as remnants of primordial metabolism, but not as hereditary molecules. I suggest that coenzyme-like molecules (CLMs) performed hereditary functions before the emergence of nucleic acids. Autocatalytic CLMs modified (encoded) surface properties of hydrocarbon microspheres, to which they were anchored, and these changes enhanced autocatalysis and propagation of CLMs. Heredity started from a single kind of self-reproducing CLM, and then evolved into more complex coenzyme autocatalytic networks containing multiple kinds of CLMs. Polymerization of CLMs on the surface of microspheres and development of template-based synthesis is a potential evolutionary path towards the emergence of nucleic acids.
Keywords: Origin of life; coenzyme world; RNA world; hydrocarbon; coding relation Origin of life; coenzyme world; RNA world; hydrocarbon; coding relation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sharov, A.A. Coenzyme Autocatalytic Network on the Surface of Oil Microspheres as a Model for the Origin of Life. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 1838-1852.

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