Proteins, the chaperone function and heredity

Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):53-74 (2013)
In this paper I use a case study—the discovery of the chaperon function exerted by proteins in the various steps of the hereditary process—to re-discuss the question whether the nucleic acids are the sole repositories of relevant information as assumed in the information theory of heredity. The evidence I here present of a crucial role for molecular chaperones in the folding of nascent proteins, as well as in DNA duplication, RNA folding and gene control, suggests that the family of proteins acting as molecular chaperones provides information that is complementary to that stored in the nucleic acids, and equally important. A re-evaluation of the role of proteins in the hereditary process is in order away from the gene-centric approach of the information theory of heredity, to which neo-Darwinian evolutionists adhere
Keywords Molecular chaperones  Heredity  Protein folding  Genes  Neo-Darwinian thinking  Molecular biology  Cell biology
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