Aug 25 – 27, 2021
Europe/Berlin timezone

Rethinking the “reverse-TCA world” approach to understanding the origins of protometabolism

Aug 26, 2021, 4:25 PM


Due to unstable situation with Covid-19 the event will be held online!


Ram Krishnamurthy (Scripps Research)


Understanding how protometabolic pathways arose on the early Earth is primarily focussed on trying to replicate, abiotically, the reverse-TCA (rTCA) reaction pathway. However this approach runs into the same difficulties as the “RNA World” or “Protein World” hypothesis – in that it focusses only on the abiotic synthesis and transformations of the biotic components in the rTCA cycle, while ignoring plausible prebiotic alternatives. A different approach is to focus on the nature and chemistry of the reactions and the sort of transformations that can naturally emerge with alternative prebiotic building blocks – rather than placing the emphasis narrowly and only on the molecular composition dictated by the TCA pathway. Using this modus operandi we can construct model protometabolic system of reactions that is much simpler than the rTCA pathway, one that harbors the potential to act as precursors for emergence of modern metabolic pathways.

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