Conditions for Purine Synthesis: Did Prebiotic Synthesis Occur at Low Temperatures?

  title={Conditions for Purine Synthesis: Did Prebiotic Synthesis Occur at Low Temperatures?},
  author={Robert A. Sanchez and James P. Ferris and Leslie E. Orgel},
  pages={72 - 73}
The rate of polymerization of hydrogen cyanide to aminomalononitrile and the tetramer, diaminomalonodinitrile, is quadratic in the total cyanide concentration. Since the reactions form part of a plausible prebiotic purine synthesis and since they compete with hydrolysis, concentration of cyanide may have been important. This may be achieved usefully by cooling to separate out ice. 
Prebiotic adenine synthesis via HCN oligomerization in ice.
The results confirm and extend an earlier suggestion that purine synthesis on the prebiotic Earth might have occurred in frozen, dilute solutions of HCN. Expand
Production of Guanine from NH4CN Polymerizations
It is shown here that guanine is also produced by this reaction but at yields ranging from 10 to 40 times less than that of adenine, which would make this prebiotic synthesis applicable to frozen regions of the primitive Earth, the Jovian satellite Europa and other icy satellites, and the parent body of the Murchison meteorite. Expand
Possible Prebiotic Condensation of Mononucleotides by Cyanamide
The condensation of mononucleotides has been carried out in aqueous solution at neutral pH in the presence of cyanamide. Oligodeoxyribonucleotides up to five units have been formed whenExpand
Potentially prebiotic syntheses of condensed phosphates
A number of potentially prebiotic processes to produce condensed phosphates from orthophosphate and cyclic trimetaphosphate from tripolyphosphate are investigated, finding them not sufficiently robust to have been of importance in the prebiotics open ocean. Expand
The prebiotic synthesis of pyrimidines in frozen solution
It is shown here that dilute solutions of simple prebiotic molecules produce the biological pyrimidines cytosine and uracil upon freezing upon freezing. Expand
Role of Weak Bases on the Prebiotic Formation of Heterocyclic Compounds
The catalytic action of an alkaline earth metal oxide (MgO) on HCN in aqueous solution has been investigated. The reaction mixture was extracted with ether to give diaminomaleonitrile (DAMN). AcidExpand
The Cold Origin of Life: B. Implications Based on Pyrimidines and Purines Produced From Frozen Ammonium Cyanide Solutions
It is suggested that eutectic freezing is the most plausible demonstrated mechanism by which HCN polymerizations could have produced biologically important prebiotic compounds. Expand
A possible prebiotic synthesis of purine, adenine, cytosine, and 4(3H)-pyrimidinone from formamide: implications for the origin of life.
A plausible new prebiotic synthesis of naturally occurring purine and pyrimidine derivatives from formamide under catalytic conditions is reported here and the role of catalysts showed to be not only relevant in providing a high selectivity in the products distribution. Expand
Chemical evolution XXIX. Pyrimidines from hydrogen cyanide.
The observation of the formation of orotic acid and 4-aminoimidazole-5-carboxamide by the hydrolysis of the HCN oligomers suggests that once the initially formed pyrimidines and purines were consumed, those life forms persisted which evolved enzymes for conversion of these intermediates to the pyrimidine and purine present in contemporary RNA. Expand
Acceleration of HCN oligomerization by formaldehyde and related compounds: Implications for prebiotic syntheses
It is observed that cyanohydrins markedly accelerate the rate of HCN oligomeri-zation, both in homogeneous solution as well as in the frozen state, significantly extend the possible range of conditions for HCn oligomerization on the prebiotic Earth. Expand


Synthesis of purines under possible primitive earth conditions. I. Adenine from hydrogen cyanide.
The experiments provide the first demonstration of the spontaneous synthesis of adenine from simple compounds of carbon and nitrogen under conditions presumed to have existed on the primitive earth. Expand
Fast Reactions of Ascorbic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide in Ice, a Presumptive Early Environment
Nonenzymatic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide proceeded more rapidly in ice than in liquid water and ascorbic acid oxidation was faster in ice both with or without added metalion. Expand
Synthesis of Organic Compounds by High-Energy Electrons
Experiments using C/sup 14/-methane and 5-Mev electrons showed that organic compounds are formed during the irradiation of mixtures of methane, ammonia, and water when these reactants are in the gasExpand
however (for it was the literal soul of the life of the Redeemer, John xv. io), is the peculiar token of fellowship with the Redeemer. That love to God (what is meant here is not God’s love to men)Expand
serotonin content of the pineal shows a rhythm
  • Nature 197,
  • 1963
A fairly complete bibliography of work on prebiotic adenine synthesis is given in reference
  • Arch. Biochem. Biophys
  • 1961