The Antiquity of Metalloenzymes

©NASA

Metalloenzymes

Astrobiologists funded in part by the NASA Astrobiology Institute have uncovered new information about the role of metalloenzymes in the origins of life. Metalloenzymes are enzymes where metals act as a co-factor or are incorporated as part of the molecule. Phylogenetic analysis of metalloenzymes involved in chemiosmosis suggests that they may have been present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) of life on Earth.

The paper was published as part of a Special Issue of the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta entitled: Metals in Bioenergetics and Biomimetics Systems.

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