In this article,we present a study about the non-enzymatic hydrolysis of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) by following the reaction course through 31P NMR spectroscopy. We have demonstrated that PEP in water exists mainly as a very stable cyclic pentacoordinate phosphorus compound in equilibrium with other cyclic forms. This explains the PEP stability in water. In contrast, after addition of an alcohol to a PEP aqueous solution, other very unstable cyclic pentacoordinated intermediates are formed, which immediately collapse, giving a feasible phosphorylation of the alcohol. It is known that cyclic pentacoordinated phosphorus intermediates are favored over the corresponding acyclic intermediates by a factor of 106–108, and this preference, found also in this study, might be the “driver mechanism” able to overcome the clutter of abiotic chemistry, thus permitting formation of pre-RNA molecules probably with a “self-organized process.”

The Phosphoenolpyruvate Phosphorylation: A Self-Organized Mechanism with Implications to Understand the RNA Transformations Volume 185, Issue 11, 2010, Pages 2303 – 2315

BACCOLINI, GRAZIANO;BOGA, CARLA;MICHELETTI, GABRIELE
2010

Abstract

In this article,we present a study about the non-enzymatic hydrolysis of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) by following the reaction course through 31P NMR spectroscopy. We have demonstrated that PEP in water exists mainly as a very stable cyclic pentacoordinate phosphorus compound in equilibrium with other cyclic forms. This explains the PEP stability in water. In contrast, after addition of an alcohol to a PEP aqueous solution, other very unstable cyclic pentacoordinated intermediates are formed, which immediately collapse, giving a feasible phosphorylation of the alcohol. It is known that cyclic pentacoordinated phosphorus intermediates are favored over the corresponding acyclic intermediates by a factor of 106–108, and this preference, found also in this study, might be the “driver mechanism” able to overcome the clutter of abiotic chemistry, thus permitting formation of pre-RNA molecules probably with a “self-organized process.”
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/92343
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