Abiotic production of sugar phosphates and uridine ribonucleoside in aqueous microdroplets

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Title
Abiotic production of sugar phosphates and uridine ribonucleoside in aqueous microdroplets
Author(s)
Inho Nam; Jae Kyoo Lee; Hong Gil Nam; Richard N. Zare
Publication Date
2017-11
Journal
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v.114, no.47, pp.12396 - 12400
Publisher
NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Abstract
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 occurred 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 +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 have served as a prebiotic synthetic pathway for ribonucleosides.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/4032
ISSN
0027-8424
Appears in Collections:
Center for Plant Aging Research (식물 노화·수명 연구단) > Journal Papers (저널논문)
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