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Article Dans Une Revue Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry Année : 2020

Primordial bioenergy sources: The two facets of adenosine triphosphate


Life requires energy to exist, to reproduce and to survive. Two major hypotheses have been put forward concerning the source of this energy at the very early stages of life evolution: (i) abiotic organics either brought to Earth by comets and/or meteorites, or produced at its atmosphere, and (ii) mineral surface-dependent bioinorganic catalytic reactions. Considering the latter possibility, I propose that, besides being a precursor of nucleic acids, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which probably was used very early to improve the fidelity of nucleic acid polymerization, played an essential role in the transition between mineral-bound protocells and their free counterparts. Indeed, phosphorylation by ATP renders carboxylate groups electrophilic enough to react with nucleophiles such as amines, an effect that, thanks to their Lewis acid character, also have dehydrated metal ions on mineral surfaces. Early ATP synthesis for metabolic processes most likely depended on substrate level phosphorylation. However, the exaptation of a hexameric helicase-like ATPase and a transmembrane H+ pump (which evolved to counteract the acidity caused by fermentation reactions within the protocell) generated a much more efficient membrane-bound ATP synthase that uses chemiosmosis to make ATP.
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Dates et versions

hal-03121557 , version 1 (26-01-2021)



Juan-Carlos Fontecilla-Camps. Primordial bioenergy sources: The two facets of adenosine triphosphate. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2020, 216, pp.111347. ⟨10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2020.111347⟩. ⟨hal-03121557⟩
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