Stereo-Enriched Poly-α-Amino Acids: Synthesis Under Postulated Prebiotic Conditions

  • Duane L. Rohlfing
  • Clarence E. FoucheJr.


In 1954, Fox and Middlebrook reported (1) that some amino acids common to protein copolymerize thermally, under simulated prebiotic conditions. Many subsequent studies (reviewed in references 2 and 3) have extended the thermal method to produce oligo- or hetero-tonic (4) polyamino acids [termed proteinoid when some of each of the proteinous (5) amino acids are incorporated]. The thermal polymers exhibit many properties in common with present-day protein, including molecular weight range, catalytic activity, non-randomness, selective associations, and morphogenecity. They are regarded as models for prebiotic protein (2 – 4).


Glutamic Acid Optical Purity Thermal Polymer Pyroglutamic Acid Prebiotic Condition 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duane L. Rohlfing
    • 1
  • Clarence E. FoucheJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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