Scientists from the Institute of Evolution Biology Max Planck revealed 40 fragments of peptides, which, in their opinion, existed more than 3.5 billion years ago and are the ancestors of modern proteins.
Proteins are a building material for all living organisms – from bacteria to man. In the human body, they are responsible for all processes: form nails, hair and bones, help to digest food and protect against viruses. AS PHYS WRITES.Org, scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology Max Planck consider life as the result of chemical protein activity. And the main task of researchers – to understand how complex protein molecules arose.
For the study of protein, scientists used the analysis similar to a linguistic principle. They applied computational methods for the reconstruction of proteins, as linguists do, working with dead languages, comparing them with modern counterparts. Scientists found out that proteins are built from modular blocks that called "Domains". Domains, according to researchers, arose as a result of the merger of ancient peptides, which united RNA. 40 found by scientists of ancient fragments of peptides, at first glance, are not related to modern proteins, but scientists noted the "striking similarity of sequences and structures". Researchers are confident that these peptides are predecessors of modern DNA.