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Transition Metal Organometallic/Metallorganic Chemistry: Its Role in Prebiotic Chemistry and Life’s Origin

Part of the Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics book series (ASTROBIO)

Abstract

Without transition metals (TM) Life would not exist, at least not in the form we know. In fact, first row TM share an important ubiquitous presence in all Phyla where 30% of all proteins are ligated to a TM and 40% of enzymatic reactions are processed by a metallo-enzyme. Consequently it can be assumed that TM and their organometallic/metallorganic compounds played an important role in the prebiotic world as well as in the chemistry of Life’s origin. In this chapter, I address the involvement of TM in prebiotic chemistry and the origin of Life, including the origin of both metabolism and genetics. I discuss both exogeneous (astrochemical) and endogenous synthesis and self-organization of organic building blocks, emphasizing the importance of TM mineral catalysts and inorganic-organic interactions. I highlight the presence of organic-inorganic conglomerates in meteorites, and argue that while the role of TM in endogenous synthesis is recognized and attracting much scientific interest, “organometallic-metallorganic astrochemistry” in exogenous synthesis requires further elaboration to understand its significance for prebiotic and origin-of-life chemistry.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-81039-9_1
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Correspondence to Marco Fioroni .

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Fioroni, M. (2021). Transition Metal Organometallic/Metallorganic Chemistry: Its Role in Prebiotic Chemistry and Life’s Origin. In: Neubeck, A., McMahon, S. (eds) Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of Life. Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81039-9_1

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