The terpenoid theory of the origin of cellular life: the evolution of terpenoids to cholesterol.

@article{Ourisson1994TheTT,
  title={The terpenoid theory of the origin of cellular life: the evolution of terpenoids to cholesterol.},
  author={Guy Ourisson and Yoichi Nakatani},
  journal={Chemistry & biology},
  year={1994},
  volume={1 1},
  pages={11-23}
}
Terpenoids have an apparently essential function in modern cellular membranes, reinforcing them against shear stresses. Primitive membranes could initially have been formed by simple terpenoids, and vesicles formed from these membranes may have evolved into progressively more complex units, more and more similar to protocells. 
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