Serine Octamer Reactions: Indicators of Prebiotic Relevance


  • This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (CHE 97-32670) and by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (DE-FG02-94ER14470). We thank Jeffrey Patrick (Eli Lilly Co.) for helpful discussions.


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The earliest molecule of life? Chirally selective reactions relevant to the origin of homochiral life are undergone by serine. Chiral exchange between serine, glyceraldehyde, and glucose occurs, favoring the enantiomers (L-serine, D-sugars) present in modern living systems (see picture).