Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 401–410 | Cite as

Copper-catalyzed amino acid condensation in water — A simple possible way of prebiotic peptide formation

  • Bernd M. Rode
  • Michael G. Schwendinger


The recently reported condensation reaction of glycine to di- and triglycine in aqueous solution in the presence of higher concentrations of sodium chloride and copper ions has been investigated systematically and quantitatively using HPLC analytical methods. The influence of ‘environmental’ factors (temperature, concentration, atmosphere) are discussed. Numerous other metal ions have been investigated with respect to similar catalytic effects, and molybdenum results as the only one inducing peptide condensation, although to a much lesser extent. Experiments based on evaporation of water and redissolution lead to peptide condensation up to (gly)6 in concentrated solutions and produces peptides even starting from initially low concentrations.


Peptide Copper Evaporation HPLC Glycine 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd M. Rode
    • 1
  • Michael G. Schwendinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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