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Author Topic: Can cells store information other than by using DNA or RNA?  (Read 4332 times)

Offline Lamarck2014

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A few days ago a paper has been published in the format of new scientific theory in "Frontiers in Molecular biosciences", entitled "Elements of the cellular metabolic structure", in which the main finding is the discovery of a new biochemical system (the CMS) with the capacity to store molecular information.

The CMS exhibits two essential dynamic mechanisms. The first one occurs at the metabolic networks level. The second mechanism occurs at the post-translational modulation level.

According to this published dualistic theory of the cell hereditary information, cells exhibit two systems capable of storing molecular information, a dynamic, flexible and adaptive system:  the CMS (metabolic memory), and an essentially conservative structural system:  the DNA (genetic memory).

The original paper is:
De la Fuente IM (2015) Elements of the cellular metabolic structure. Front. Mol. Biosci. 2:16. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2015.00016

The link:
newbielink:http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmolb.2015.00016/abstract [nonactive]

Does this theory represent a paradigm shift in biology?
« Last Edit: 06/05/2015 08:50:03 by chris »


 

Offline Le_Kaw

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I think itís too soon to call it a paradigm shift, only time will tell. I do agree that there is metabolic regulation outside of the DNA, but it is also true that the DNA contains the information needed to assemble all proteins, and thus it defines protein function.
 

Offline Lamarck2014

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well that is almost true, DNA does have the code for the aminoacidic sequence of the protein, but that provides a wide range of potential catalytic patterns and post-translational modifications, which ones actually happen depend on the information said protein is receiving from the cellular medium, the ambient and other metabolic networks. In short, the DNA provides potentiality while functionality lies on the proteins themselves, or, more correctly, on the metabolic network
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Surely the relevant point is not the storage of information, but the transmission of it between generations. Does the paper argue that this CMS is capable of that function?

Incidentally, are you the paper's author, or in some other way associated with the author?
 

Offline evan_au

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As highlighted on a recent episode of "The Big Bang theory", the audio recording attached to the Voyager spacecraft records information, but cannot transfer that information until someone builds a compatible "record player".

Similarly, DNA and RNA record information, but they cannot transfer that information into proteins until it encounters the ribosome, a very complex piece of cellular machinery which interprets the message.

The initial ribosomes are created by the mother's DNA, and carried in the egg cell, in addition to the DNA & RNA. So this is one form of extra-nuclear information transmission.

In the longer term, as the egg cell divides, the ribosomes in the daughter cells are created from the DNA of the zygote.

PS: Lamarck and Darwin both had theories about inheritance and evolution, despite having no idea about the existence of the DNA and RNA system. For a while, Darwin's theory was seen to be in the ascendant, and mapped nicely onto the properties of DNA. However, with the discovery of epigenetics, some of Lamarck's ideas about the experience of the parent affecting the child are seen to be relevant once again.

It's interesting that the OP came from "Lamarck2014".
 

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