Prebiotic Amino Acids as Asymmetric Catalysts

  title={Prebiotic Amino Acids as Asymmetric Catalysts},
  author={Sandra Pizzarello and Arthur L. Weber},
  pages={1151 - 1151}
The exogenous delivery of cometary and asteroidal material is observed today and undoubtedly has showered the Earth through its prior history ([ 1 ][1]). Because carbonaceous meteorites contain amino acids displaying asymmetry that, if not as extensive, has the same sign (L) as terrestrial amino 
Plausible origins of homochirality in the amino acid catalyzed neogenesis of carbohydrates.
The intrinsic ability of amino acids to catalyze the asymmetric formation of carbohydrates, which enzymes have mediated for millions of years, with significant amplification of enantiomeric excess
Prebiotic chemical evolution: a meteoritic perspective
Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are primitive asteroidal fragments that contain organic carbon and offer a glimpse of the a-biotic chemical processes that preceded the onset of terrestrial life.
Isoleucine as a possible bridge between exogenous delivery and terrestrial enhancement of homochirality
A highly enantioselective oligomerization of isoleucine stereomers in the salt-induced peptide formation reaction under plausibly prebiotic earth conditions may further correlate the extraterrestrial delivery and endogenous production of biological homochirality by virtue of a protein constituent rather than the rarely occurring α-methylated amino acids.
The peptide-catalyzed stereospecific synthesis of tetroses: A possible model for prebiotic molecular evolution
It is demonstrated that homochiral l-dipeptide catalysts lead to the stereospecific syntheses of tetroses, and a possible catalytic-reaction intermediate is proposed, consisting of an imidazolidinone ring formed between the two nitrogen atoms of the peptide catalyst and the C1 of one glycolaldehyde molecule.
RNA: Prebiotic Product, or Biotic Invention?
Recent experimental work on the assembly of potential RNA precursors is reviewed, focusing on methods for stereoselective CC bond construction by aldolisation and related processes, and the relative accessibility of RNA and alternative nucleic acids is considered.
Replication of α-amino acids via Strecker synthesis with amplification and multiplication of chiral intermediate aminonitriles.
Replication of chiral l- and d-α-(p-tolyl)glycine has been achieved in combination with the asymmetric induction, amplification and multiplication of their own chiral intermediates, l- and
Imitating Prebiotic Homochirality on Earth
It is shown that the homochiral compound has two effects on the solubility of the racemate, which explains why the amplification, while large, is not as large as the simple theoretical equation predicts.


A Simpler Nucleic Acid
The answer may be simpler nucleic acid polymers perhaps like the RNA analogs called (L)-a-threofuranosyl oligonucleotides or TNAs, which have threose rather than ribose in their sugar-phosphate backbones and yet retain many of the properties of RNA.
Chemical Etiology of Nucleic Acid Structure: The α-Threofuranosyl-(3'→2') Oligonucleotide System
Being derived from a sugar containing only four carbons, TNA is structurally the simplest of all potentially natural oligonucleotide-type nucleic acid alternatives studied thus far and warrants close scrutiny of the system in the context of the problem of RNA's origin.
The Sugar Model: Catalysis by Amines and Amino Acid Products
  • A. Weber
  • Chemistry
    Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
  • 2004
The demonstration that the alanine catalyzes the conversion of glycolaldehyde and formaldehyde to pyruvaldehyde indicates that this synthetic pathway is capable ofautocatalysis, and the relevance of this synthetic process, named the Sugar Model, to the origin of life is discussed.