Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota

Patchwork Hypothesis

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_1448


Two main hypotheses have been proposed to explain how the metabolic pathways actually originated: the  retrograde hypothesis and the patchwork hypothesis.

The patchwork hypothesis postulates that duplication of genes encoding primitive and promiscuous enzymes (capable of catalyzing various reactions) allows each descendant enzyme to specialize in one of the ancestral reactions. These hypotheses could explain the actual anatomy of the metabolical pathways.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ingenieŕıa Celular y Biocatálisis, Instituto de BiotecnologiaUniversidad Nacional Autonóma de MéxicoCuernavacaMexico