On the Evolution of New Enzymes: Completely Different Enzymes Can Catalyze Similar Reactions
In many cases, new enzymes evolve from primitive enzymes that catalyzed similar reactions [see The Evolution of Enzymes from Promiscuous Precursors]. It's quite easy to see how this could happen by gene duplication and there are tons of examples.
But what about the first primitive enzymes themselves? Presumably, they evolved all on their own. When scientists think of this problem, they usually think in terms of evolving a specific modern enzyme. This looks like a long shot, similar to the probability that a specific person will win the lottery tomorrow. What they don't realize is that this is an unnecessarily restrictive scenario.
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