The Origin of First Peptides on Earth: From Amino Acids to Homochiral Biomolecules

  • Thomas Jakschitz
  • Daniel Fitz
  • Bernd Michael Rode
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 22)


From general considerations about the formation of first biomolecules in a primordial Earth scenario, it is concluded that amino acids, peptides and proteins are the compounds with the highest probability to be formed first. Consequently, possible formation reactions for these compounds and related simulation experiments are presented, in particular Miller-type experiments for the synthesis of amino acids and condensation reactions leading to peptides. Among the latter, especially the salt-induced peptide formation (SIPF) reaction is discussed, as it is based on a very simple and variable scenario, and offers a number of explanations for phenomena still observed in present life forms. This pertains to non-statistical amino acid sequences, the type of preferably used amino acids and to the l-homochirality of proteins in all life forms on Earth.


Chemical Evolution Enantiomeric Excess Parity Violation Carbonaceous Chondrite Sodium Chloride Concentration 
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.



This work was financially supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Projekt P19334-N17), which is gratefully appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Jakschitz
    • 1
  • Daniel Fitz
    • 1
  • Bernd Michael Rode
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Theoretical Chemistry, Institute of General, Inorganic and Theoretical ChemistryUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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