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Abiotic production of sugar phosphates and uridine ribonudeoside in aqueous microdroplets
- Abiotic production of sugar phosphates and uridine ribonudeoside in aqueous microdroplets
- Nam, Inho; Lee, Jae Kyoo; Nam, Hong Gil; Zare, Richard N.
- DGIST Authors
- Nam, Hong Gil
- Issue Date
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(47), 12396-12400
- Article Type
- ALPHA-D-RIBOSE; SUM-FREQUENCY SPECTROSCOPY; D-GLUCOSE 1-PHOSPHATE; MOLECULAR-ORGANIZATION; ELECTROSPRAY-IONIZATION; CHARGED MICRODROPLETS; ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOLS; DROPLET EVAPORATION; MASS-SPECTROMETRY; WATER
- Phosphorylation is an essential chemical reaction for life. This reaction generates fundamental cell components, including building blocks for RNA and DNA, phospholipids for cell walls, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy storage. However, phosphorylation reactions are thermodynamically unfavorable in solution. Consequently, a long-standing question in prebiotic chemistry is how abiotic phosphorylation occurs in biological compounds. We find that the phosphorylation of various sugars to form sugar-1-phosphates can proceed spontaneously in aqueous microdroplets containing a simple mixture of sugars and phosphoric acid. The yield for D-ribose-1-phosphate reached over 6% at room temperature, giving a ΔG value of −1.1 kcal/mol, much lower than the +5.4 kcal/mol for the reaction in bulk solution. The temperature dependence of the product yield for the phosphorylation in microdroplets revealed a negative enthalpy change (ΔH = −0.9 kcal/mol) and a negligible change of entropy (ΔS = 0.0007 kcal/mol·K). Thus, the spontaneous phosphorylation reaction in microdroplets occurred by overcoming the entropic hurdle of the reaction encountered in bulk solution. Moreover, uridine, a pyrimidine ribonucleoside, is generated in aqueous microdroplets containing D-ribose, phosphoric acid, and uracil, which suggests the possibility that microdroplets could serve as a prebiotic synthetic pathway for ribonucleosides. © 2017, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
- National Academy of Sciences
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