The ‘Origin of Life Molecule’- Theory
A theoretical approach to the first randomly synthesized self-replicating molecule
by Dr. rer. nat. Peter Erich Keller
Member of the International Union of Crystallography
Member of the European Peptide Society
Key-words: Origin of life, Ribozymoid, Self-replication
A simple self-replicating molecule might have been the origin of life, later in evolution encapsulate by a lipid membrane and progressing further in the RNA/protein world. I am proposing theoretical considerations of the molecular properties of the origin-of-life-molecule (OLM) and possible cofactors, like mineral surfaces generating new ‘nutritional’ monomers. Chemically the OLM must have been a randomly synthesized single stranded RNA-like single chain with a self-replicase ribozymoid active site, the RNAoid/mineral world.
The biochemical process may have taken place on a mineral surface. Senanayake & Idriss, 2006, proposed catalysis of nucleoside bases from formamide on a TiO2(001) surface. The randomly synthesized OLM a linear chain of single stranded RNA-like structure consists of a ribozymoid self-replicase part and its template on the same strand. Both parts, ribozymoid self-replicase and the template are separated by a non-coding linker, the tranzon. The active site of the ribozymoid starts RNAoid polymerization at the template part of its own strand, synthesizing a new ribozymoid self-replicase. When the tranzon region is reached the old OLM strand ribozymoid self-replicase is unfolding and RNAoid polymerization proceeds with the newly synthesized ribozymoid self-replicase, separating from the template part and folding to ribozymoid activity. Process is finished as soon as the end of the OLM chain is reached. Both strands are disconnecting and the OLM is reproduced genetically. It is not an identical copy of the original strand because the non-coding linker, the tranzon, is reproduced every 2nd generation. The monomers may be mononucleotidoids in chemical composition. The open system in the RNAoid/mineral world may later be surrounded by a lipid membrane to create a compartment for the OLM, the mononucleotidoids and additional metabolic elements.
Figure 1, Sheme for the genetic structure of the origin-of-life-molecule
Senanayake SD., Idriss H., 2006, Photocatalysis and the origin of life: synthesis of nucleoside bases from formamide on TiO2(001) single surfaces, Proc Natl Acad Dci U S A, 103(5):1194-8