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Origins of life

, Volume 5, Issue 1–2, pp 153–157 | Cite as

Biomolecules from HCN

  • J. P. Ferris
  • J. D. Wos
  • T. J. Ryan
  • A. P. Lobo
  • D. B. Donner
Part III/Primordial Organic Chemistry

Abstract

The mechanism of the condensation of dilute aqueous solutions of HCN and the products formed by these reactions have been investigated. The initial HCN condensation reactions yield3, a compound which is readily oxidized to4. A similar oxidation of5 to6 was also observed. Urea is formed on hydrolysis of4. The oxidation-reduction products formed from HCN may be in part a consequence of the oxidation of3. It has been established by combination GC/MS that the amino acids glycine, diaminosuccinic acid, α-amino-isobutyric acid, aspartic acid, alanine and isoleucine are released on acid hydrolysis of the ‘HCN polymer’. Hydantoin (7), 5,5-dimethylhydantoin (8) and 5-carboxymethyldenehydantoin (10) are also released on acid hydrolysis of the HCN condensation products. The direct conversion of the dicarbonyl derivative, of diaminosuccinic acid to orotic acid via10 at pH 8 has been observed. This conversion suggests a direct route to pyrimidines from HCN.

Keywords

Pyrimidine Acid Hydrolysis Aspartic Acid Isoleucine Condensation Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Ferris
    • 1
  • J. D. Wos
    • 1
  • T. J. Ryan
    • 1
  • A. P. Lobo
    • 1
  • D. B. Donner
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ChemistryRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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