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REVIEW: Alexander Spirin on Molecular Machines and Origin of Life

Alexander B. Chetverina

Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia

Received May 17, 2021; Revised May 17, 2021; Accepted May 17, 2021
Once it was believed that ribosomal RNA encodes proteins, and GTP hydrolysis supplies the energy for protein synthesis. Everything has changed, when Alexander Spirin joined the science. It turned out that proteins are encoded by a completely different RNA, and GTP hydrolysis only accelerates the process already provided with energy. It was Spirin who first put forward the idea of a Brownian ratchet and explained how and why molecular machines could arise in the RNA world.
KEY WORDS: RNA world, ribosome, Brownian ratchet, ATP hydrolysis, energy transduction, power strokes

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297921080034