Mechanism of Synthesis of Adenine from Hydrogen Cyanide under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions

  title={Mechanism of Synthesis of Adenine from Hydrogen Cyanide under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions},
  author={Joan Or{\'o}},
  • J. Oró
  • Published 16 September 1961
  • Chemistry
  • Nature
IT has recently been shown that adenine and the purine precursors 4-aminoimidazole-5-carboxamidine and formamidine are formed spontaneously from hydrogen cyanide in water–ammonia systems under conditions assumed to have existed on the primitive Earth1. 

Abiotic Synthesis of Uracil from Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen and Water by Proton Irradiation

A mixture of 13C-carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and water was irradiated with high energy protons. 13C-Labelled uracil was identified in the product by GC/MS, resulting in confirmed abiotic formation of

Synthesis of Adenine from HCN Tetramer and Ammonium Formate

Adenine is formed in about 18% yield whenHCN tetramer is heated with ammonium formate at 110 °C. Theprebiotic significance of this reaction is discussed.

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.

Abiotic synthesis of purines and other heterocyclic compounds by the action of electrical discharges

It is concluded that adenine synthesis occurs at a much lower concentration of hydrogen cyanide than has been shown by earlier studies.

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.

From formamide to adenine: a self-catalytic mechanism for an abiotic approach.

The self-catalyzed mechanism of formamide, a simple C1 building block hypothesized to be a precursor to many protometabolic compounds, is suggested to be more reactive in addition reactions than HCN and may elucidate processes that were vital for the emergence of life on the early earth.

Prebiotic Adenine Revisited: Eutectics and Photochemistry

  • L. Orgel
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
  • 2004
The suggestion that the synthesis of adenine may have involved the photochemical conversion of the tetramer of hydrogen cyanide in eutectic solution to 4-amino-5-cyano-imidazole is revisited.

Investigations of carbon fixation in model organisms and in cell-free prebiotic transition metal-catalyzed reactions

In this work, the reversibility of citrate synthase was demonstrated under autotrophic conditions in the model organism Desulfurella acetivorans . On the other hand, this work revealed a possible

Chemical evolution: The mechanism of the formation of adenine under prebiotic conditions

This report provides a more detailed understanding of some of the chemical processes involved in chemical evolution, and a partial answer to the fundamental question of molecular biogenesis.