Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 361–374 | Cite as

Pyrite Suspended in Artificial Sea Water Catalyzes Hydrolysis of Adsorbed ATP: Enhancing Effect of Acetate

  • Ana C. Tessis
  • Andréa Penteado-Fava
  • Mila Pontes-Buarque
  • Hélio Salim de Amorim
  • José A. P. Bonapace
  • Fernando de Souza-Barros
  • Adalberto Vieyra
Article

Abstract

Minerals have been implicated in different catalytic processes during chemical evolution. It has been proposed that exergonic synthesis of pyrite (FeS2) could have served to promote the endergonic synthesis of biomonomers in early stages of life formation on Earth. The present study was aimed to investigate whether pyrite can adsorb nucleotides and oxo acids in the potentially mild prebiotic conditions found away from the hot hydrothermal vents. It is shown that pyrite strongly adsorbs adenosine 5′-triphosphate in an artificial medium that simulates primordial aqueous environments, and that adsorption is enhanced in the presence of acetate and in an oxygen-free atmosphere. Moreover, the mineral catalyzes the sequential hydrolysis of the γ and β phosphoanhydride bonds of the nucleotide.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana C. Tessis
    • 1
  • Andréa Penteado-Fava
    • 1
  • Mila Pontes-Buarque
    • 1
  • Hélio Salim de Amorim
    • 2
  • José A. P. Bonapace
    • 3
  • Fernando de Souza-Barros
    • 2
  • Adalberto Vieyra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Biochemistry, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of ChemistryFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Solid State Physics, Institute of Physics, Institute of ChemistryFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Institute of ChemistryFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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