Primeval cells: Possible energy-generating and cell-division mechanisms
- 90 Downloads
It is proposed that the first entity capable of adaptive Darwinian evolution consisted of a liposome vesicle formed of (1) abiotically produced phospholipidlike molecules; (2) a very few informational macromolecules; and (3) some abiogenic, lipid-soluble, organic molecule serving as a symporter for phosphate and protons and as a means of high-energy-bond generation. The genetic material had functions that led to the production of phospholipidlike materials (leading to growth and division of the primitive cells) and of the carrier needed for energy transduction. It is suggested that the most primitive exploitable energy source was the donation of 2H++2e− at the external face of the primitive cell. The electrons were transferred (by metal impurities) to internal sinks of organic material, thus creating, via a deficit, a protonmotive force that could drive both the active transport of phosphate and high-energy-bond formation.
This model implies that proton translocation in a closed-membrane system preceded photochemical or electron transport mechanisms and that chemically transferable metabolic energy was needed at a much earlier stage in the development of life than has usually been assumed. It provides a plausible mechanism whereby cell division of the earliest protocells could have been a spontaneous process powered by the internal development of phospholipids. The stimulus for developing this evolutionary sequence was the realization that cellular life was essential if Darwinian “survival of the fittest” was to direct evolution toward adaptation to the external environment.
Key wordsOrigin of cells Origin of bioenergetics Origin of Darwinian systems
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Eigen M, Schuster P (1979) The hypercycle, a principle of natural self-organization. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Gest H (1980) The evolution of biological energy-transducing systems. FEMS Micro Lett 7:73–77Google Scholar
- Goldacre RJ (1958) Surface films: their collapse on compression, the shapes and sizes of cells, and the origin of life. In: Danielli JF, Pankhurst KGA, Riddiford AC (eds) Surface phenomena in biology and chemistry. Pergamon, New York, pp 278–298Google Scholar
- Haldane JBS (1954) The origins of life. In: Johnson ML, Abercromble M (eds) New biology, vol. 16. Penguin, London, pp 12–27Google Scholar
- Hargreaves WR, Deamer DW (1978a) Origin and early evolution of bilayer membranes. In: Deamer DW (ed) Light transducing membranes. Academic Press, New York, pp 23–60Google Scholar
- Jain MK, Wagner RS (1980) Introduction to biological membranes. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Koch AL, Mobley HLT, Doyle RJ, Streips UN (1981) The coupling of wall growth and chromosome replication in gram positive rods. FEMS Micro Lett 12:201–208Google Scholar
- Mitchell P (1968) Chemiosmotic coupling and energy transduction. Glynn Research Ltd., Bodmin, Cornwall, EnglandGoogle Scholar
- Morowitz H (1968) Energy flow in biology. Ox Bow Press, Woodbridge, ConnecticutGoogle Scholar
- Odum JM, Peck HD (1981) Hydrogen cycling as a general mechanism for energy coupling in sulfate reducing bacteria,Desulfovibrio sp. FEMS Micro Lett 12:47–50Google Scholar
- Oparin AI (1953) The origin of life, 3rd ed (translated by S Morgulis). MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Oro J, Sherwood E, Eichberg J, Eppo DE (1978) Formation of phospholipids under primitive Earth conditions and the role of membranes in prebiological evolution. In: Deamer DW (ed) Light transducing membranes. Academic Press, New York, pp 1–19Google Scholar
- Oro J, Holzer G, Rao M, Tornabene T (1980) Membrane lipids and the origin of life. In: Wolman Y (ed) Origin of life. D Reidel, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 313–322Google Scholar
- Papahadjopoulos D (1978) Calcium-induced phase changes and fusion in model membranes. In: Poste G, Nicholson GL (eds) Membrane fusion. North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp 766–790Google Scholar
- Shah DO (1972) The origin of membranes and related surface phenomena. In: Ponnamperuma C (ed) Exobiology. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 235–265Google Scholar
- Tanford C (1980) The hydrophobic effect: formation of micelles and biological membranes, 2nd ed. Wiley-Interscience, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Tien HT (1974) Bilayer lipid membranes: theory and practice. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Wilson TH, Lin ECC (1980) Evolution of membrane bioenergetics. J Supra Struct 13:421–446Google Scholar