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Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 24–29 | Cite as

Formation of pyrophosphate, tripolyphosphate, and phosphorylimidazole with the thioester, N, S-diacetylcysteamine, as the condensing agent

  • Arthur L. Weber
Article

Summary

Reaction of 0.20M orthophosphate with 0.20M N,S-diacetylcysteamine in 0.40M imidazole at pH 7.0 or 8.0 under drying conditions at 50°C for 6 days yields pyrophosphate and tripolyphosphate in the presence and absence of 0.10M divalent metal ion. The efficiency of utilization of N,S-diacetylcysteamine in the formation of pyrophosphate linkages ranges from 3 – 8% under the above conditions. The thioester, N,S-diacetylcysteamine, and imidazole are required for phosphoanhydride formation.

Reaction of 0.40M orthophosphate with 0.20M N, S-diacetylcysteamine in 0.40M imidazole at ambient temperature for 6 days yields phosphorylimidazole in the absence or presence of 0.05M MgCl2. Phosphorylimidazole and pyrophosphate are formed in the presence of 0.05M CaCl2; pyrophosphate and tripolyphosphate are formed with 0.15M CaCl2. The efficiency of utilization of N,S-diacetylcysteamine in the formation of pyrophosphate linkages is roughly 7% at 6 days of reaction with 0.15M CaCl2. The thioester, N,S-diacetylcysteamine and imidazole are required for the formation of phosphoanhydrides. The significance of these reactions to molecular evolution is discussed.

Key words

Thioester Pyrophosphate Tripolyphosphate Phosphorylimidazole Molecular evolution Prebiotic 

Abbreviations

P1

orthophosphate

P2

pyrophosphate

P3

tripolyphosphate

ImP

phosphorylimidazole

Ac-Csa(Ac)

N, S-diacetylcysteamine

Im

imidazole

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur L. Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.The Salk Institute for Biological StudiesSan DiegoUSA

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