Next Article in Journal
RNA-Seq for Plant Pathogenic Bacteria
Next Article in Special Issue
The Evolution of Protein Structures and Structural Ensembles Under Functional Constraint
Previous Article in Journal
A Model of DNA Repeat-Assembled Mitotic Chromosomal Skeleton
Previous Article in Special Issue
Protein Folding Absent Selection
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Genes 2011, 2(4), 671-688; doi:10.3390/genes2040671

Functional Capabilities of the Earliest Peptides and the Emergence of Life

College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Glasgow University, Glasgow G128QQ, UK
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 14 September 2011 / Accepted: 14 September 2011 / Published: 26 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Structure of Proteins and Proteomes 2011)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [317 KB, uploaded 26 September 2011]   |  


Considering how biological macromolecules first evolved, probably within a marine environment, it seems likely the very earliest peptides were not encoded by nucleic acids, or at least not via the genetic code as we know it. An objective of the present work is to demonstrate that sequence-independent peptides, or peptides with variable and unreliable lengths and sequences, have the potential to perform a variety of chemically useful functions such as anion and cation binding and membrane and channel formation as well as simple types of catalysis. These functions tend to be performed with the assistance of the main chain CONH atoms rather than the more variable or limited side chain atoms of the peptides presumed to exist then. View Full-Text
Keywords: catgrips; emergence of life; hydrothermal mound; nests; niches; peptides catgrips; emergence of life; hydrothermal mound; nests; niches; peptides

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Milner-White, E.J.; Russell, M.J. Functional Capabilities of the Earliest Peptides and the Emergence of Life. Genes 2011, 2, 671-688.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Genes EISSN 2073-4425 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top