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A study of the interaction of glycine and its oligohomopeptides with formaldehyde and acetaldehyde under possible primitive earth conditions


It is established that glycine and glycine oligohomopeptides interact with formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in a homogeneous weak acid medium (pH 3.3–3.7) at mild temperatures (60–80°C) in the absence of inorganic solid substances. Together with the expected serine and threonine, the formation of alanine, glutamic and aspartic acid, norvaline and isoleucine, as well as four non-protein amino acids is also established. It is suggested that the non-protein amino acids are hydroxymethylserine, hydroxymethylthreonine, hydroxymethylaspartic acid and γ-amino-δ-hydroxyvaleric acid. The modes of formation of all protein and non-protein amino acids are discussed. These results strengthen the probability that similar processes may have been one of the pathways for the prebiotic synthesis of amino acids on primitive Earth.

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Ivanov, C.P., Ivanov, O.C., Simeonova, R.A. et al. A study of the interaction of glycine and its oligohomopeptides with formaldehyde and acetaldehyde under possible primitive earth conditions. Origins Life Evol Biosphere 13, 97–108 (1983).

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  • Formaldehyde
  • Glycine
  • Geochemistry
  • Serine
  • Alanine