Viability Conditions for a Compartmentalized Protometabolic System: A Semi-Empirical Approach



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Piedrafita, Gabriel and Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa and Monnard, Pierre Alain and Cornish-Bowden, Athel J. and Montero, Francisco J. (2012) Viability Conditions for a Compartmentalized Protometabolic System: A Semi-Empirical Approach. Plos One, 7 (6). ISSN 1932-6203

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In this work we attempt to find out the extent to which realistic prebiotic compartments, such as fatty acid vesicles, would constrain the chemical network dynamics that could have sustained a minimal form of metabolism. We combine experimental and simulation results to establish the conditions under which a reaction network with a catalytically closed organization (more specifically, an (M,R)-system) would overcome the potential problem of self-suffocation that arises from the limited accessibility of nutrients to its internal reaction domain. The elationship between the permeability of the membrane, the lifetime of the key catalysts and their efficiency (reaction rate enhancement) turns out to be critical. In
particular, we show how permeability values constrain the characteristic time scale of the bounded protometabolic
processes. From this concrete and illustrative example we finally extend the discussion to a wider evolutionary context.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:EMTREE drug terms: glycerol oleate; lauric acid; oleic acid; prebiotic agent EMTREE medical terms: article; catalyst; enzyme kinetics; fatty acid analysis; lipid vesicle; membrane permeability; metabolism; polymerization; protein lipid interaction; protometabolism; secretory vesicle; steady state; thermodynamics MeSH: Biological Evolution; Cell Membrane; Computer Simulation; Models, Biological; Permeability
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Molecular biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Biomathematics
ID Code:29359
Deposited On:14 Apr 2015 09:42
Last Modified:14 Apr 2015 09:42

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