Challenges 2014, 5(2), 193-212; doi:10.3390/challe5020193

Prebiotic Phosphorylation Reactions on the Early Earth

Received: 28 May 2014; in revised form: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Astrobiology)
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.
Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for life. It occurs in living beings in the form of phosphate, which is ubiquitous in biochemistry, chiefly in the form of C-O-P (carbon, oxygen and phosphorus), C-P, or P-O-P linkages to form life. Within prebiotic chemistry, several key questions concerning phosphorus chemistry have developed: what were the most likely sources of P on the early Earth? How did it become incorporated into the biological world to form the P compounds that life employs today? Can meteorites be responsible for the delivery of P? What were the most likely solvents on the early Earth and out of those which are favorable for phosphorylation? Or, alternatively, were P compounds most likely produced in relatively dry environments? What were the most suitable temperature conditions for phosphorylation? A route to efficient formation of biological P compounds is still a question that challenges astrobiologists. This article discusses these important issues related to the origin of biological P compounds.
Keywords: phosphorus; phosphorylation; prebiotic chemistry; mineral catalysis; phosphate esters; meteorites; reduced phosphates; phosphate minerals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gull, M. Prebiotic Phosphorylation Reactions on the Early Earth. Challenges 2014, 5, 193-212.

AMA Style

Gull M. Prebiotic Phosphorylation Reactions on the Early Earth. Challenges. 2014; 5(2):193-212.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gull, Maheen. 2014. "Prebiotic Phosphorylation Reactions on the Early Earth." Challenges 5, no. 2: 193-212.

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