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How Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Life Chose Phosphate

1
UMR5247, CNRS—University of Montpellier—ENSCM, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
2
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 3 March 2019
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Abstract

The very specific thermodynamic instability and kinetic stability of phosphate esters and anhydrides impart them invaluable properties in living organisms in which highly efficient enzyme catalysts compensate for their low intrinsic reactivity. Considering their role in protein biosynthesis, these properties raise a paradox about early stages: How could these species be selected in the absence of enzymes? This review is aimed at demonstrating that considering mixed anhydrides or other species more reactive than esters and anhydrides can help in solving the paradox. The consequences of this approach for chemical evolution and early stages of life are analysed. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphoryl transfer; metabolism; energy currency; mixed anhydride phosphoryl transfer; metabolism; energy currency; mixed anhydride
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Liu, Z.; Rossi, J.-C.; Pascal, R. How Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Life Chose Phosphate. Life 2019, 9, 26.

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