Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 101–104 | Cite as

Coenzymes as fossils of an earlier metabolic state

  • Harold B. WhiteIII


A metabolic system composed of nucleic acid enzymes is proposed to have existed prior to the evolution of ribosomal protein synthesis. Vestiges of these nucleic acid enzymes persist in contemporary coenzymes. This proposal rationalizes the fact that many coenzymes are nucleotides or heterocyclic bases which could be derived from nucleotides.

Key words

Coenzyme Evolution Nucleic Acid Enzymes Metabolic Pathways Nucleotide-Binding Domain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold B. WhiteIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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