Functional capabilities of the earliest peptides and the emergence of life

Milner-White, E.J., and Russell, M.J. (2011) Functional capabilities of the earliest peptides and the emergence of life. Genes, 2(4), pp. 671-688. (doi:10.3390/genes2040671)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes2040671

Abstract

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.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Milner-White, Professor E
Authors: Milner-White, E.J., and Russell, M.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Genes
ISSN:2073-4425
ISSN (Online):2073-4425

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