Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Molecular biology of the cell » Most Organelles Cannot Be Constructed De Novo: They Require Information in the Organelle Itself

Most Organelles Cannot Be Constructed De Novo: They Require Information in the Organelle Itself

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Most Organelles Cannot Be Constructed De Novo: They Require Information in the Organelle Itself 

When a cell reproduces by division, it has to duplicate its organelles, in addition to its chromosomes. In general, cells do this by incorporating new molecules into the existing organelles, thereby enlarging them; the enlarged organelles then divide and are distributed to the two daughter cells. Thus, each daughter cell inherits a complete set of specialized cell membranes from its mother. This inheritance is essential because a cell could not make such membranes from scratch. If the ER were completely removed from a cell, for example, how could the cell reconstruct it? As we discuss later, the membrane proteins that define the ER and perform many of its functions are themselves products of the ER. A new ER could not be made without an existing ER or, at least, a membrane that specifically contains the protein translocators required to import selected proteins into the ER from the cytosol (including the ER-specific translocators themselves). The same is true for mitochondria and plastids. Thus, it seems that the information required to construct an organelle does not reside exclusively in the DNA that specifies the organelle’s proteins. Information in the form of at least one distinct protein that preexists in the organelle membrane is also required, and this information is passed from parent cell to daughter cells in the form of the organelle itself. Presumably, such information is essential for the propagation of the cell’s compartmental organization, just as the information in DNA is essential for the propagation of the cell’s nucleotide and amino acid sequences. the ER buds off a constant stream of transport vesicles that incorporate only a subset of ER proteins and therefore have a composition different from the ER itself. Similarly, the plasma membrane constantly buds off various types of specialized endocytic vesicles. Thus, some organelles can form from other organelles and do not have to be inherited at cell division.

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