The role of self-maintaining resilient reaction networks in the origin and evolution of life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We characterize living systems as resilient "chemical organizations", i.e. self-maintaining networks of reactions that are able to resist a wide range of perturbations. Dissipative structures, such as flames or convection cells, are also self-maintaining, but much less resilient. We try to understand how life could have originated from such self-organized structures, and evolved further, by acquiring various mechanisms to increase resilience. General mechanisms include negative feedback, buffering of resources, and degeneracy (producing the same resources via different pathways). Specific mechanisms use catalysts, such as enzymes, to enable reactions that deal with specific perturbations. This activity can be regulated by "memory" molecules, such as DNA, which selectively produce catalysts when needed. We suggest that major evolutionary transitions take place when living cells of different types or species form a higher-order organization by specializing in different functions and thus minimizing interference between their reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104720
JournalBioSystems Journal
Volume219
Early online date9 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of self-maintaining resilient reaction networks in the origin and evolution of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this