Non-enzymatic glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway-like reactions in the plausible Archean ocean

Keller, M. and Turchyn, A. V. and Ralser, M. (2014) Non-enzymatic glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway-like reactions in the plausible Archean ocean. Molecular systems biology, 10 (04). ISSN 1744-4292, ESSN: 1744-4292 DOI 10.1002/msb.20145228

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Official URL: http://msb.embopress.org/content/10/4/725

Abstract

The reaction sequences of central metabolism, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway provide essential precursors for nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids. However, their evolutionary origins are not yet understood. Here, we provide evidence that their structure could have been fundamentally shaped by the general chemical environments in earth's earliest oceans. We reconstructed potential scenarios for oceans of the prebiotic Archean based on the composition of early sediments. We report that the resultant reaction milieu catalyses the interconversion of metabolites that in modern organisms constitute glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. The 29 observed reactions include the formation and/or interconversion of glucose, pyruvate, the nucleic acid precursor ribose‐5‐phosphate and the amino acid precursor erythrose‐4‐phosphate, antedating reactions sequences similar to that used by the metabolic pathways. Moreover, the Archean ocean mimetic increased the stability of the phosphorylated intermediates and accelerated the rate of intermediate reactions and pyruvate production. The catalytic capacity of the reconstructed ocean milieu was attributable to its metal content. The reactions were particularly sensitive to ferrous iron Fe(II), which is understood to have had high concentrations in the Archean oceans. These observations reveal that reaction sequences that constitute central carbon metabolism could have been constrained by the iron‐rich oceanic environment of the early Archean. The origin of metabolism could thus date back to the prebiotic world.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY license his is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA67;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Molecular systems biology
Volume: 10
Identification Number: 10.1002/msb.20145228
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2014 09:12
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 13:45
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3007

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