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Heteropolypeptides from poly-alpha-cyanoglycine and hydrogen cyanide: a model for the origin of proteins.

Authors
  • Minard, R
  • Yang, W
  • Varma, P
  • Nelson, J
  • Matthews, C
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Oct 24, 1975
Volume
190
Issue
4212
Pages
387–389
Identifiers
PMID: 170680
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Poly-alpha-cyanoglycine, a homopolymer synthesized from the N-carboxyanhydride of alpha-cyanoglycine, is converted by cumulative reaction of hydrogen cyanide to heteropolypeptides that can be hydrolyzed to protein amino acids, including glycine, alanine, valine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the original heteropolypeptides on the earth arose spontaneously from hydrogen cyanide and water without the intervening formation of alpha-amino acids.

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