Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces

  title={Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces},
  author={James P. Ferris and Aubrey R. Hill and Rihe Liu and Leslie E. Orgel},
MOST theories of the origin of biological organization assume that polymers with lengths in the range of 30–60 monomers are needed to make a genetic system viable1. But it has not proved possible to synthesize plausibly prebiotic polymers this long by condensation in aqueous solution, because hydrolysis competes with polymerization. The potential of mineral surfaces to facilitate prebiotic polymerization was pointed out long ago2. Here we describe a system that models prebiotic polymerization… Expand
Polymerization on the Rocks: Theoretical Introduction
  • L. Orgel
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
  • 2004
It is suggested that long polymers were synthesized on the surface of minerals in a prebiotic process analogous to solid-phase synthesis, and it is shown that the average length of adsorbed oligomers at steady state depends on the balance between the rate of chain elongation and the rates of hydrolysis. Expand
The formation and self-assembly of long prebiotic oligomers produced by the condensation of unactivated amino acids on oxide surfaces.
The results indicate that polypeptides formed by the condensation of amino acids adsorbed on a mineral surface can evolve into structured supramolecular assemblies. Expand
Prebiotic Alternatives to Proteins: Structure and Function of Hyperbranched Polyesters
This study focuses on glycerol-citric acid HBPs synthesized via moderate heating in the dry state, and proposes that the chelating properties of citric acid govern the makeup of the resulting polymer, turning the polymerization system into a rudimentary smart material. Expand
SOURCES OF PREBIOTIC ORGANIC COMPOUNDS Following the Urey – Miller synthesis of amino acids by spark discharge in a mixture of reduced gases
Organic compounds are synthesized in the interstellar medium and can be delivered to planetary surfaces such as the early Earth, where they mix with endogenous species. Some of these compounds areExpand
Prebiotic oligomerization and self-assembly of structurally diverse xenobiological monomers
The oligomerization of a structurally diverse set of prebiotically plausible xenobiological monomers, which can hydrolytically interconvert between cyclic and acyclic forms, alone or in the presence of glycine under moderate temperature drying conditions is explored. Expand
Foldamer hypothesis for the growth and sequence differentiation of prebiotic polymers
This mechanism explains how random chemical polymerizations could have given rise to longer sequence-dependent protein-like catalytic polymers and describes how specific sequences and conformations could contribute to the chemistry-to-biology (CTB) transition. Expand
Formation of Activated Biomolecules by Condensation on Mineral Surfaces – A Comparison of Peptide Bond Formation and Phosphate Condensation
It is shown that when drying steps are applied, the equilibria of peptide formation from glycine, and polyphosphate formation from monophosphate, are displaced to the right because these reactions are dehydrating condensations, accompanied by the emission of water. Expand
Catalysis in abiotic structured media: an approach to selective synthesis of biopolymers
  • P. Monnard
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
  • 2004
It is shown that micro- and nanoenvironment approaches to the synthesis and selection of biopolymers could be developed into a new biotechnological tool for the production ofBiopolymers with novel functions. Expand
Mineral Surface-Templated Self-Assembling Systems: Case Studies from Nanoscience and Surface Science towards Origins of Life Research
Evidence is compiled that templating and enhancement of prebiotically-relevant self-assembling systems by mineral surfaces offers a route to increased structural, functional, and/or chemical complexity. Expand
Stability of amino acids and their oligomerization under high-pressure conditions: implications for prebiotic chemistry.
The polymerization of amino acids leading to the formation of peptides and proteins is a significant problem for the origin of life. This problem stems from the instability of amino acids and theExpand


Template-directed oligonucleotide ligation on hydroxylapatite
A sequence of reactions in which initially formed oligo(G)s are reactivated by conversion to phosphorimidazolides in the presence of poly(C) and then allowed to ligate is ideal, in that repeated cycles can be carried out on the surface of hydroxylapatite, whereas in the liquid phase the cycle could be achieved only with considerable difficulty. Expand
Montmorillonite catalysis of RNA oligomer formation in aqueous solution. A model for the prebiotic formation of RNA.
It is concluded from the composition of the oligomers that the rate of addition ImpA to a 3'-terminus containing a 2,'5'-linkage is slower than the addition to a nucleoside joined by a 3',5'-linked phosphodiester bond. Expand
N,N'-carbonyldiimidazole-induced peptide formation in aqueous solution.
The reaction of N,N′-carbonyldiimidazole with amino acids may provide a convenient method for the synthesis of peptides in aqueous solution and it is believed that N-carboxyanhydrides are involved as intermediates. Expand
Kinetic and mechanistic analysis of dinucleotide and oligonucleotide formation from the 5'-phosphorimidazolide of adenosine on Na(+)-montmorillonite.
The catalytic ability of montmorillonite to form din nucleotides and oligonucleotides is quantitatively evaluated and possible pathways for oligo(A) formation are proposed. Expand
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank the Amedcam Colloid Co. for a gift of volclay, the mineral from w41_ch the Na" -mocltmonllonite used in thisstudywas pcepared,and G,/Vrhardus
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  • 1994
RNA world
The Phys/ca/Bas/s ofUfe (Routledge & Kega_ Paul
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The Phys/ca/Bas/s ofUfe (Routledge & Kega_ Paul, London
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