The Lipid World

  title={The Lipid World},
  author={Daniel Segr{\`e} and Dafna Ben-Eli and David Deamer and Doron Lancet},
  journal={Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere},
The continuity of abiotically formed bilayer membraneswith similar structures in contemporary cellular life,and the requirement for microenvironments in whichlarge and small molecules could be compartmentalized, support the idea that amphiphilic boundary structurescontributed to the emergence of life. As an extensionof this notion, we propose here a `Lipid World'scenario as an early evolutionary step in theemergence of cellular life on Earth. This conceptcombines the potential chemical… 
Prebiological Membranes and Their Role in the Emergence of Early Cellular Life.
This review critically evaluates existing research on prebiotic membranes in terms of their probable origin, composition, energetics, function and evolution and outlines new approaches that can further understanding about how prebiotics membranes might have evolved in response to relevant physicochemical parameters that would have acted as pertinent selection pressures on the early Earth.
Prebiotic Lipidic Amphiphiles and Condensing Agents on the Early Earth
This review describes experiments that demonstrate how different prebiotically-available building blocks can become precursors of phospholipids that form vesicles and considers the experimental conditions that resemble plausibly those of the early Earth (or elsewhere) and the analytical methods used to characterize synthetic products.
Compositional heterogeneity of protocellular membranes: Implications for emergence of mixed vesicular systems
The results indicate that complex membrane systems are more stable and robust to multiple selection pressures, thereby making them more suitable for supporting protocellular life.
Membrane self‐assembly processes: Steps toward the first cellular life
This review addresses the question of the origin of life, with emphasis on plausible boundary structures that may have initially provided cellular compartmentation, by investigating nutrient uptake across simple membranes and encapsulated catalyzed reactions in protocellular life forms.
The Lipid World: From Catalytic and Informational Headgroups to Micelle Replication and Evolution Without Nucleic Acids
In quantitative, chemically-realistic computer simulations of the Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD) model, it is shown that prebiotic molecular networks, potentially existing within assemblies of lipid-like molecules, manifest a behavior similar to self reproduction or self-replication.
Molecular recognition and organizational and polyvalent effects in vesicles induce the formation of artificial multicompartment cells as model systems of eukaryotes.
Various coating, incubation, and electrofusion strategies for forming multicompartment vesicle systems are presented, focusing on strategies that rely on involving molecular recognition of complementary vesicles, and these nanoparticles have potential applications as drug delivery systems or nanoreactors for conducting diverse reactions.
Heat shock proteins and the biogenesis of cellular membranes
The ability of ancestral HSP70s and small HSPs to associate with lipids and stabilize membranes could have been a fundamental event in the genesis of cells.
Life Began When Evolution Began: A Lipidic Vesicle-Based Scenario
  • M. Tessera
  • Biology
    Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
  • 2009
A plausible scenario for the emergence of a positive feedback process giving them the capability of evolving on early Earth is suggested and the possibilities offered by such a process are described in regard to specific characteristics of extant biological organisms.
Self-reproducing catalytic micelles as nanoscopic protocell precursors
It is proposed that life originated in spontaneously formed catalytic lipid micelles, and Lipid-first constitutes a parsimonious alternative to the RNA-first scenario.


Primeval cells: Possible energy-generating and cell-division mechanisms
  • A. L. Koch
  • Biology
    Journal of Molecular Evolution
  • 2005
This model implies that proton translocation in a closed-membrane system preceded photochemical or electron transport mechanisms and that chemically transferable metabolic energy was needed at a much earlier stage in the development of life than has usually been assumed.
A Fission-Fusion Origin for Life
It is indicated how domain evolution with the same fitness criterion can potentially give rise to coding and Membrane domains may provide the link between protocells and the RNA/DNA-world.
Autocatalytic self-replicating micelles as models for prebiotic structures
A system in which autocatalytic micelles are formed from amphiphiles that are themselves generated from a hydrolysis reaction in the absence of compartmental structures is described, and these self-assembling surfactant structures may provide a model system for studies of prebiotic chemistry.
Mutually Catalytic Amphiphiles: Simulated Chemical Evolution and Implications to Exobiology
A description of the emergence of life should delineate a chemically rigorous gradual transition from random collections of simple organic molecules to spatially confined assemblies displaying
Enzymatic RNA Synthesis in Self-Reproducing Vesicles: An Approach to the Construction of a Minimal Synthetic Cell
It is argued that this work offers a system which goes beyond the two approaches to self-replication presented until now in the literature, namely the template self-reproduction of linear sequences of oligonucleotides and the autopoietic shell reproduction of micelles and vesicles.
The hydrophobic effect and the organization of living matter.
Biological organization may be viewed as consisting of two stages: biosynthesis and assembly; that is, as a first approximation it represents a search by each structural molecule for its state of lowest chemical potential.
A Statistical Chemistry Approach to the Origin of Life
The challenge of tracing the very first steps of biogenesis is highlighted, when self-replication, mutation, selection and evolution may have been hardly recognizable.
Liposomes from ionic, single-chain amphiphiles.
Membrane permeability to various solutes was determined in part by a new technique which utilized phase-contract microscopy; when impermeable vesciles exclude added solutes such as sucrose, refractive index differences are created between vesicle contents and surrounding medium, so that the vesicles appear bright in the phase microscope.