Accueil > Publications > Recherche par années > Années 1990 > 1993

Brack, A

From amino acids to prebiotic active peptides : a chemical reconstitution

Pure and Applied Chemistry 65 (6) 1143-1151

par Administrateur - publié le

Abstract :

Primitive life can be schematically described as organic molecules processed by liquid water. Amino acids were most likely available on the primitive Earth, home-made from the primitive atmosphere or in hydrothermal vents. Import of extraterrestrial amino acids may represent an alternative supply. Experimental evidence is given for selective condensation of amino acids driven by the hydrolytic power of liquid water. When hydrophobic and hydrophilic amino acids are forced to coexist within the same chain in liquid water, the duality generates interesting topologies such as stereoselective and thermostable beta-pleated sheet structures. Polycationic alternating peptides containing lysyl and hydrophobic residues strongly accelerate the hydrolysis of oligoribonucleotides. The beta-sheet geometry plays an determinant role in the observed chemical activity, as in contemporary enzymes. Beta-sheet forming peptide sequences may represent a support for primordial information amplification.