Dougal J. Ritson

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A minimal cell can be thought of as comprising informational, compartment-forming and metabolic subsystems. To imagine the abiotic assembly of such an overall system, however, places great demands on hypothetical prebiotic chemistry. The perceived differences and incompatibilities between these subsystems have led to the widely held assumption that one or(More)
A recent synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides under prebiotically plausible conditions relied on mixed oxygenous and nitrogenous systems chemistry. As it stands, this synthesis provides support for the involvement of RNA in the origin of life, but such support would be considerably strengthened if the sugar building blocks for the(More)
The photoredox cycle oxidizes 1 to cyanogen 2 and generates associated reducing power in the form of protons and hydrated electrons, which reduce further 1 to formaldehyde imine 3. Hydrolysis of 3 to formaldehyde 4 is then followed by addition of 1 to give glycolonitrile 5. Iteration of this process results in the sequential production of glycolaldehyde 6,(More)
Biophysical studies of ligand interactions with three human telomeric repeat sequences (d(AGGG(TTAGGG)n, n = 3, 7 and 11)) show that an oxazole-based 'click' ligand, which induces parallel folded quadruplexes, preferentially stabilises longer telomeric repeats providing evidence for selectivity in binding at the interface between tandem quadruplex motifs.
Conditions are reported for the facile, high-yielding coupling of acyl chlorides with terminal alkynes in a reaction involving palladium and copper iodide; the reaction is tolerant of a wide variety of acyl chlorides and terminal alkynes and provides a convenient one-pot route to acetylenic ketones.
The importance of functional group orientations and the integrity of the bicyclic perhydrofuran core of malayamycin A and two equally active N-nucleoside analogues as fungicides were investigated. Two analogues 10 and 11, representing a THP-truncated and a bicyclic aza-variant, were synthesized and found to be inactive. Molecular dynamics studies on(More)
A synthetic approach towards the structurally complex dimer, kingianin A is reported. The strategy involved a cascade of complexity generating reactions, inspired through biosynthetic speculation. A concise protecting group free synthesis of the proposed monomeric precursor pre-kingianin A has been achieved using a tandem Stille cross-coupling reaction and(More)
Soon after the origin of RNA-based life, depletion of prebiotically synthesised ribonucleotides would have driven the evolution of a biosynthetic pathway to these key building blocks. Ribozyme-catalysed nucleosidation—the key biosynthetic step—requires that ribose and the nucleobases are produced by abiotic chemistry and are relatively stable to the(More)