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The Dimeric Proto-Ribosome: Structural Details and Possible Implications on the Origin of Life

The Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(7), 2921-2934;
Received: 1 June 2009 / Accepted: 25 June 2009 / Published: 30 June 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Life)
PDF [248 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


A symmetric pocket-like entity, composed of two L-shaped RNA units, encircles the peptide synthesis site within the contemporary ribosome. This entity was suggested to be the vestige of a dimeric proto-ribosome, which could have formed spontaneously in the prebiotic world, catalyzing non-coded peptide bond formation and elongation. This structural element, beyond offering the initial step in the evolution of translation, is hypothesized here to be linked to the origin of life. By catalyzing the production of random peptide chains, the proto-ribosome could have enabled the formation of primary enzymes, launching a process of co-evolution of the translation apparatus and the proteins, thus presenting an alternative to the RNA world hypothesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: proto-ribosome; origin of life; ribosome symmetrical region proto-ribosome; origin of life; ribosome symmetrical region
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Agmon, I. The Dimeric Proto-Ribosome: Structural Details and Possible Implications on the Origin of Life. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 2921-2934.

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