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. 1991 Mar;32(3):201-10.
doi: 10.1007/BF02342743.

Synthesis of the Coenzymes Adenosine Diphosphate Glucose, Guanosine Diphosphate Glucose, and Cytidine Diphosphoethanolamine Under Primitive Earth Conditions

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Synthesis of the Coenzymes Adenosine Diphosphate Glucose, Guanosine Diphosphate Glucose, and Cytidine Diphosphoethanolamine Under Primitive Earth Conditions

A Mar et al. J Mol Evol. .

Abstract

The nonenzymatic synthesis of the coenzymes adenosine diphosphate glucose (ADPG), guanosine diphosphate glucose (GDPG), and cytidine diphosphoethanolamine (CDP-ethanolamine) has been carried out under conditions considered to have been prevalent on the early Earth. The production of these compounds was performed by allowing simple precursor molecules to react under aqueous solutions, at moderate temperatures and short periods of time, with mediation by cyanamide or urea. These two condensing agents are considered to have been present in significant amounts on the primitive Earth and have been previously used in the nonenzymatic synthesis of several other important biochemical compounds. In our experiments, ADPG was obtained by heating glucose-1-phosphate (G1P) and ATP in the presence of cyanamide for 24 h at 70 degrees C. The reaction of G1P and GTP under the same conditions yielded GDPG. The cyanamide-mediated production of CDP-ethanolamine was carried out by reacting a mixture of ethanolamine phosphate and CTP for 24 h at 70 degrees C. The separation and identification of the reaction products was carried out by paper chromatography, thin-layer chromatography, high performance thin-layer chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, both normal and reverse-phase, UV spectroscopy, enzymatic assays, and acid hydrolysis. Due to the mild conditions employed, and to the relative ease of these reactions, these studies offer a simple attractive system for the nonenzymatic synthesis of phosphorylated high-energy metabolic intermediates under conditions considered to have been prevalent on the ancient Earth.

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