Document Detail

Oxygen and hydrogen peroxide in the early evolution of life on earth: in silico comparative analysis of biochemical pathways.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22970865     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In the Universe, oxygen is the third most widespread element, while on Earth it is the most abundant one. Moreover, oxygen is a major constituent of all biopolymers fundamental to living organisms. Besides O(2), reactive oxygen species (ROS), among them hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), are also important reactants in the present aerobic metabolism. According to a widely accepted hypothesis, aerobic metabolism and many other reactions/pathways involving O(2) appeared after the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. In this study, the hypothesis was formulated that the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) was at least able to tolerate O(2) and detoxify ROS in a primordial environment. A comparative analysis was carried out of a number of the O(2)-and H(2)O(2)-involving metabolic reactions that occur in strict anaerobes, facultative anaerobes, and aerobes. The results indicate that the most likely LUCA possessed O(2)-and H(2)O(2)-involving pathways, mainly reactions to remove ROS, and had, at least in part, the components of aerobic respiration. Based on this, the presence of a low, but significant, quantity of H(2)O(2) and O(2) should be taken into account in theoretical models of the early Archean atmosphere and oceans and the evolution of life. It is suggested that the early metabolism involving O(2)/H(2)O(2) was a key adaptation of LUCA to already existing weakly oxic zones in Earth's primordial environment.
Ireneusz Slesak; Halina Slesak; Jerzy Kruk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Astrobiology     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1557-8070     ISO Abbreviation:  Astrobiology     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-13     Completed Date:  2013-01-24     Revised Date:  2013-08-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101088083     Medline TA:  Astrobiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  775-84     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland.
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MeSH Terms
Archaea / metabolism
Bacteria, Anaerobic / metabolism
Biological Evolution
Earth (Planet)*
Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry*
Oxygen / chemistry*
Reg. No./Substance:
7722-84-1/Hydrogen Peroxide; 7782-44-7/Oxygen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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