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A Chemist’s Perspective on the Role of Phosphorus at the Origins of Life
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Life 2017, 7(3), 32; doi:10.3390/life7030032

Nitrogenous Derivatives of Phosphorus and the Origins of Life: Plausible Prebiotic Phosphorylating Agents in Water

Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 USA
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Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phosphorus (P) and the Origins of Life)

Abstract

Phosphorylation under plausible prebiotic conditions continues to be one of the defining issues for the role of phosphorus in the origins of life processes. In this review, we cover the reactions of alternative forms of phosphate, specifically the nitrogenous versions of phosphate (and other forms of reduced phosphorus species) from a prebiotic, synthetic organic and biochemistry perspective. The ease with which such amidophosphates or phosphoramidate derivatives phosphorylate a wide variety of substrates suggests that alternative forms of phosphate could have played a role in overcoming the “phosphorylation in water problem”. We submit that serious consideration should be given to the search for primordial sources of nitrogenous versions of phosphate and other versions of phosphorus. View Full-Text
Keywords: prebiotic phosphorylation; nitrogen-phosphorus derivatives; phosphoramidates; (di)amidophosphate; origins of life prebiotic phosphorylation; nitrogen-phosphorus derivatives; phosphoramidates; (di)amidophosphate; origins of life
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Karki, M.; Gibard, C.; Bhowmik, S.; Krishnamurthy, R. Nitrogenous Derivatives of Phosphorus and the Origins of Life: Plausible Prebiotic Phosphorylating Agents in Water. Life 2017, 7, 32.

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