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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(1), 575-593; doi:10.3390/ijms14010575

Why Flavins Are not Competitors of Chlorophyll in the Evolution of Biological Converters of Solar Energy

A.N.Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, House 33, Building 2, Leninsky Prospekt, Moscow 119071, Russia
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Received: 9 October 2012 / Revised: 10 December 2012 / Accepted: 13 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavins)
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Abstract

Excited flavin molecules can photocatalyze reactions, leading to the accumulation of free energy in the products, and the data accumulated through biochemical experiments and by modeling prebiological processes suggest that flavins were available in the earliest stages of evolution. Furthermore, model experiments have shown that abiogenic flavin conjugated with a polyamino acid matrix, a pigment that photocatalyzes the phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP, could have been present in the prebiotic environment. Indeed, excited flavin molecules play key roles in many photoenzymes and regulatory photoreceptors, and the substantial structural differences between photoreceptor families indicate that evolution has repeatedly used flavins as chromophores for photoreceptor proteins. Some of these photoreceptors are equipped with a light-harvesting antenna, which transfers excitation energy to chemically reactive flavins in the reaction center. The sum of the available data suggests that evolution could have led to the formation of a flavin-based biological converter to convert light energy into energy in the form of ATP. View Full-Text
Keywords: Evolution; flavin; flavoprotein photoreceptors; DNA photolyase; photosynthesis; model of prebiotic processes; photophosphorylation; ATP; light-harvesting antenna Evolution; flavin; flavoprotein photoreceptors; DNA photolyase; photosynthesis; model of prebiotic processes; photophosphorylation; ATP; light-harvesting antenna
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Kritsky, M.S.; Telegina, T.A.; Vechtomova, Y.L.; Buglak, A.A. Why Flavins Are not Competitors of Chlorophyll in the Evolution of Biological Converters of Solar Energy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 575-593.

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