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Mobility of a Mononucleotide within a Lipid Matrix: A Neutron Scattering Study

Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), 71, Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
Dipartimento di Fisica e Chimica, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 17, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Officina dei Materiali (CNR-IOM), Research Unit in Grenoble, 71 Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
Institut de Systematique, Évolution, Biodiversité, (ISYEB) UMR 7205 CNRS-MNHN-UPMC-EPHE Sorbonne Universités, CP50, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France
Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA), UFR PhITEM, 621 Avenue Centrale, 38000 Grenoble, France
Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS), 71 Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), 17 Avenue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble, France
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 25 Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Niles Lehman
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Cellular Life)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1114 KB, uploaded 4 January 2017]   |  


An essential question in studies on the origins of life is how nucleic acids were first synthesized and then incorporated into compartments about 4 billion years ago. A recent discovery is that guided polymerization within organizing matrices could promote a non-enzymatic condensation reaction allowing the formation of RNA-like polymers, followed by encapsulation in lipid membranes. Here, we used neutron scattering and deuterium labelling to investigate 5′-adenosine monophosphate (AMP) molecules captured in a multilamellar phospholipid matrix. The aim of the research was to determine and compare how mononucleotides are captured and differently organized within matrices and multilamellar phospholipid structures and to explore the role of water in organizing the system to determine at which level the system becomes sufficiently anhydrous to lock the AMP molecules into an organized structure and initiate ester bond synthesis. Elastic incoherent neutron scattering experiments were thus employed to investigate the changes of the dynamic properties of AMP induced by embedding the molecules within the lipid matrix. The influence of AMP addition to the lipid membrane organization was determined through diffraction measurement, which also helped us to define the best working Q range for dynamical data analysis with respect to specific hydration. The use of different complementary instruments allowed coverage of a wide time-scale domain, from ns to ps, of atomic mean square fluctuations, providing evidence of a well-defined dependence of the AMP dynamics on the hydration level. View Full-Text
Keywords: neutron scattering; multilamellar lipid matrix; mononucleotide mobility; hydration neutron scattering; multilamellar lipid matrix; mononucleotide mobility; hydration

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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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Misuraca, L.; Natali, F.; da Silva, L.; Peters, J.; Demé, B.; Ollivier, J.; Seydel, T.; Laux-Lesourd, V.; Haertlein, M.; Zaccai, G.; Deamer, D.; Maurel, M.C. Mobility of a Mononucleotide within a Lipid Matrix: A Neutron Scattering Study. Life 2017, 7, 2.

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