Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 47–54 | Cite as

Condensation of amino acids to form peptides in aqueous solution induced by the oxidation of sulfur(iv): An oxidative model for prebiotic peptide formation

Article

Abstract

Condensation of amino acids to peptides is an important step during the origin of life. However, up to now, successful explanations for plausible prebiotic peptide formation pathways have been limited. Here we report that the oxidation of sulfur (IV) can induce the condensation reaction of carboxylic acids and amines to form amides, and the condensation reaction of amino acids to form peptides. This might be a general reaction contributing to prebiotic peptide formation.

Keywords

Condensation Sulfur dioxide Amino acid Oxidation Prebiotic peptide formation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brandt C, Fabian I, Vaneldik R (1994) Kinetics and mechanism of the iron(III)-catalyzed autoxidation of sulfur(IV) Oxides in aqueous solution. Evidence for the redox cycling of iron in the presence of oxygen and modeling of the overall reaction mechanism. Inorg Chem 33:687–701Google Scholar
  2. Brandt C, Vaneldik R (1995) Transition metal-catalyzed oxidation of sulfur(IV) oxides. Atmospheric-relevant processes and mechanisms. Chem Rev 95:119–190Google Scholar
  3. Clayton DW, Farrington JA, Kenner GW, Turner JM (1957) Peptides. Part VI. Further studies of the synthesis of peptides through anhydrides of sulphuric acid. J Chem Soc 1398–1407Google Scholar
  4. Furnes H, Banerjee NR, Muehlenbachs K, Staudigel H, de Wit M (2004) Early life recorded in Archean Pillow Lavas. Science 304:578–581PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Huber C, Wachtershauser G (1998) Peptides by activation of amino acids with CO on (Ni,Fe)S surfaces: Implications for the origin of life. Science 281:670–672PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Imai E, Honda H, Hatori K, Brack A, Matsuno K (1999) Elongation of oligopeptides in a simulated submarine hydrothermal system. Science 283:831–833PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kasting JF, Ackerman TP (1986) Climatic consequences of very high-Carbon Dioxide levels in the earths early atmosphere. Science 234:1383–1385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Keefe AD, Miller SL (1996) Was ferrocyanide a prebiotic reagent? origins life Evol Biospheres 26:111–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kenner GW, Stedman RJ (1952) Peptides. Part I. The Synthesis of Peptides through Anhydrides of Sulphuric Acid. J Chem Soc 2069–2076Google Scholar
  10. Lahav N, White D, Chang S (1978) Peptide formation in prebiotic era: Thermal condensation of glycine in fluctuating clay environments. Science 201:67–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Leman L, Orgel L, Ghadiri MR (2004) Carbonyl Sulfide-Mediated Prebiotic Formation of Peptides. Science 306:283–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lemmon RM (1970) Chemical Evolution. Chem Rev 70:95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu RH, Orgel LE (1997) Oxidative Acylation Using Thioacids. Nature 389:52–54PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Macleod G, McKeown C, Hall AJ, Russell MJ (1994) Hydrothermal and oceanic pH conditions of possible relevance to the origin of Life. Origins Life Evol Biosph 24:19–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nakajima N, Ikada Y (1995) Mechanism of amide formation by carbodiimide for bioconjugation in aqueous media. Bioconjucate Chem 6:123–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Plankensteiner K, Reiner H, Rode BM (2004) From earth's primitive atmosphere to chiral peptides – the origin of precursors for life. Chem Biodivers 1:1308–1315PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rasmussen B (2000) Filamentous microfossils in a 3,235-million-year-old volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit. Nature 405:676–679PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Russell MJ (2003) The importance of being alkaline. Science 302:580-581PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schwendinger MG, Rode BM (1989) Possible role of copper and sodium chloride in prebiotic evolution of peptides. Anal Sci 5:411–414Google Scholar
  20. Stribling R, Mille SL (1987) Energy yields for hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde syntheses: the hcn and amino acid concentrations in the primitive ocean. Origins Life Evol Biospheres 17:261–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Suzuki I (1999) Oxidation of inorganic sulfur compounds: Chemical and enzymatic reactions. Can J Microbiol 45:97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Symonds RB, Rose WI, Bluth GJS, Gerlach TM (1994) Volcanic-Gas studies: Methods, Results, and Applications. Rev Mineral 30:1–66Google Scholar
  23. Vargas M, Kashefi K, Blunt-Harris EL, Lovley DR (1998) Microbiological evidence for Fe(III) reduction on early earth. Nature 395:65–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Walker JCG (1987) Was the archean biosphere upside down. Nature 329:710–712PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Williams A, Ibrahim IT (1981) Carbodiimide chemistry: Recent advances. Chem Rev 81 589–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhao YF, Cao PS (1994) Phosphoryl amino-acids – common origin for nucleic-acids and protein. J Biol Phys 20:283–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryThe University of Hong KongHong KongP. R. China

Personalised recommendations