Alkaline hydrothermal vents have become a candidate setting for the origins of life on Earth and beyond. This is due to several key features including the presence of gradients of temperature, redox potential, pH, the availability of inorganic minerals, and the existence of a network of inorganic pore spaces that could have served as primitive compartments. Chemical gardens have long been used as experimental proxies for hydrothermal vents. This paper investigates a set of prebiotic interactions between such inorganic structures and fatty alcohols. The integration of a medium-chain fatty alcohol, decanol, within these inorganic minerals, produced a range of emergent 3 dimensions structures at both macroscopic and microscopic scales. Fatty alcohols can be considered plausible prebiotic amphiphiles that might have assisted the formation of protocellular structures such as vesicles. The experiments presented herein show that neither chemical gardens nor decanol alone promote vesicle formation, but chemical gardens grown in the presence of decanol, which is then integrated into inorganic mineral structures, support vesicle formation. These observations suggest that the interaction of fatty alcohols and inorganic mineral structures could have played an important role in the emergence of protocells, yielding support for the evolution of living cells.

Hybrid organic–inorganic structures trigger the formation of primitive cell-like compartments / Holler, Silvia; Bartlett, Stuart; Löffler, Richard J. G.; Casiraghi, Federica; Ignacio Sainz Diaz, Claro; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.; Hanczyc, Martin M.. - In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. - ISSN 1091-6490. - ELETTRONICO. - 120:33(2023), pp. e23004911201-e23004911208. [10.1073/pnas.2300491120]

Hybrid organic–inorganic structures trigger the formation of primitive cell-like compartments

Silvia Holler
Primo
;
Federica Casiraghi;Martin M. Hanczyc
2023-01-01

Abstract

Alkaline hydrothermal vents have become a candidate setting for the origins of life on Earth and beyond. This is due to several key features including the presence of gradients of temperature, redox potential, pH, the availability of inorganic minerals, and the existence of a network of inorganic pore spaces that could have served as primitive compartments. Chemical gardens have long been used as experimental proxies for hydrothermal vents. This paper investigates a set of prebiotic interactions between such inorganic structures and fatty alcohols. The integration of a medium-chain fatty alcohol, decanol, within these inorganic minerals, produced a range of emergent 3 dimensions structures at both macroscopic and microscopic scales. Fatty alcohols can be considered plausible prebiotic amphiphiles that might have assisted the formation of protocellular structures such as vesicles. The experiments presented herein show that neither chemical gardens nor decanol alone promote vesicle formation, but chemical gardens grown in the presence of decanol, which is then integrated into inorganic mineral structures, support vesicle formation. These observations suggest that the interaction of fatty alcohols and inorganic mineral structures could have played an important role in the emergence of protocells, yielding support for the evolution of living cells.
2023
33
Holler, Silvia; Bartlett, Stuart; Löffler, Richard J. G.; Casiraghi, Federica; Ignacio Sainz Diaz, Claro; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.; Hanczyc, Martin M.
Hybrid organic–inorganic structures trigger the formation of primitive cell-like compartments / Holler, Silvia; Bartlett, Stuart; Löffler, Richard J. G.; Casiraghi, Federica; Ignacio Sainz Diaz, Claro; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.; Hanczyc, Martin M.. - In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. - ISSN 1091-6490. - ELETTRONICO. - 120:33(2023), pp. e23004911201-e23004911208. [10.1073/pnas.2300491120]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/388795
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