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J Mol Evol. 2014 Apr;78(3-4):171-87. doi: 10.1007/s00239-014-9616-1. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Thermodynamic prediction of glycine polymerization as a function of temperature and pH consistent with experimentally obtained results.

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Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1-IE-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550, Japan,


Prediction of the thermodynamic behaviors of biomolecules at high temperature and pressure is fundamental to understanding the role of hydrothermal systems in the origin and evolution of life on the primitive Earth. However, available thermodynamic dataset for amino acids, essential components for life, cannot represent experimentally observed polymerization behaviors of amino acids accurately under hydrothermal conditions. This report presents the thermodynamic data and the revised HKF parameters for the simplest amino acid "Gly" and its polymers (GlyGly, GlyGlyGly and DKP) based on experimental thermodynamic data from the literature. Values for the ionization states of Gly (Gly(+) and Gly(-)) and Gly peptides (GlyGly(+), GlyGly(-), GlyGlyGly(+), and GlyGlyGly(-)) were also retrieved from reported experimental data by combining group additivity algorithms. The obtained dataset enables prediction of the polymerization behavior of Gly as a function of temperature and pH, consistent with experimentally obtained results in the literature. The revised thermodynamic data for zwitterionic Gly, GlyGly, and DKP were also used to estimate the energetics of amino acid polymerization into proteins. Results show that the Gibbs energy necessary to synthesize a mole of peptide bond is more than 10 kJ mol(-1) less than previously estimated over widely various temperatures (e.g., 28.3 kJ mol(-1) → 17.1 kJ mol(-1) at 25 °C and 1 bar). Protein synthesis under abiotic conditions might therefore be more feasible than earlier studies have shown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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