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Open AccessReview

Possible Roles of Amphiphilic Molecules in the Origin of Biological Homochirality

1,2,* and 3,4,*
Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Rikkyo University, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan
Department of Molecular Design and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan
Japan Association for Inspection and Investigation of Foods Including Fats and Oils, 3-27-8, Nihonbashi-Hamacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0007, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 966;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 1 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Possible Scenarios for Homochirality on Earth)
PDF [2889 KB, uploaded 1 August 2019]


A review. The question of homochirality is an intriguing problem in the field of chemistry, and is deeply related to the origin of life. Though amphiphiles and their supramolecular assembly have attracted less attention compared to biomacromolecules such as RNA and proteins, the lipid world hypothesis sheds new light on the origin of life. This review describes how amphiphilic molecules are possibly involved in the scenario of homochirality. Some prebiotic conditions relevant to amphiphilic molecules will also be described. It could be said that the chiral properties of amphiphilic molecules have various interesting features such as compositional information, spontaneous formation, the ability to exchange components, fission and fusion, adsorption, and permeation. This review aims to clarify the roles of amphiphiles regarding homochirality, and to determine what kinds of physical properties of amphiphilic molecules could have played a role in the scenario of homochirality. View Full-Text
Keywords: lipid; supramolecular assembly; symmetry breaking; homochirality lipid; supramolecular assembly; symmetry breaking; homochirality

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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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Suzuki, N.; Itabashi, Y. Possible Roles of Amphiphilic Molecules in the Origin of Biological Homochirality. Symmetry 2019, 11, 966.

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