Peter T. S. van der Gulik

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The issues we attempt to tackle here are what the first peptides did look like when they emerged on the primitive earth, and what simple catalytic activities they fulfilled. We conjecture that the early functional peptides were short (3-8 amino acids long), were made of those amino acids, Gly, Ala, Val and Asp, that are abundantly produced in many prebiotic(More)
The genetic code has a high level of error robustness. Using values of hydrophobicity scales as a proxy for amino acid character, and the mean square measure as a function quantifying error robustness, a value can be obtained for a genetic code which reflects the error robustness of that code. By comparing this value with a distribution of values belonging(More)
The genetic code is known to have a high level of error robustness and has been shown to be very error robust compared to randomly selected codes, but to be significantly less error robust than a certain code found by a heuristic algorithm. We formulate this optimization problem as a Quadratic Assignment Problem and use this to formally verify that the code(More)
Based on (i) an analysis of the regularities in the standard genetic code and (ii) comparative genomics of the anticodon modification machinery in the three branches of life, we derive the tRNA set and its anticodon modifications as it was present in LUCA. Previously we proposed that an early ancestor of LUCA contained a set of 23 tRNAs with unmodified(More)
Three aspects which make planet Earth special, and which must be taken in consideration with respect to the emergence of peptides, are the mineralogical composition, the Moon which is in the same size class, and the triple environment consisting of ocean, atmosphere, and continent. GlyGly is a remarkable peptide because it stimulates peptide bond formation(More)
We model and discuss advantages of pan-editing, the complex way of expressing mitochondrial genes in kinetoplastids. The rapid spread and preservation of pan-editing seems to be due to its concomitant fragment dispersal. Such dispersal prevents losing temporarily non expressed mitochondrial genes upon intense intraspecific competition, by linking non(More)
A primordial genetic code is proposed, having only four codons assigned, GGC meaning glycine, GAC meaning aspartate/glutamate, GCC meaning alanine-like and GUC meaning valine-like. Pathways of ambiguity reduction enlarged the codon repertoire with CUC meaning leucine, AUC meaning isoleucine, ACC meaning threonine-like and GAG meaning glutamate. Introduction(More)
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