3 years ago

Surveying the sequence diversity of model prebiotic peptides by mass spectrometry [Chemistry]

Surveying the sequence diversity of model prebiotic peptides by mass spectrometry [Chemistry]
W. Calvin Millar, Jay G. Forsythe, Martha A. Grover, Anton S. Petrov, Facundo M. Fernandez, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, Nicholas V. Hud, Sheng–Sheng Yu

The rise of peptides with secondary structures and functions would have been a key step in the chemical evolution which led to life. As with modern biology, amino acid sequence would have been a primary determinant of peptide structure and activity in an origins-of-life scenario. It is a commonly held hypothesis that unique functional sequences would have emerged from a diverse soup of proto-peptides, yet there is a lack of experimental data in support of this. Whereas the majority of studies in the field focus on peptides containing only one or two types of amino acids, here we used modern mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques to separate and sequence de novo proto-peptides containing broader combinations of prebiotically plausible monomers. Using a dry–wet environmental cycling protocol, hundreds of proto-peptide sequences were formed over a mere 4 d of reaction. Sequence homology diagrams were constructed to compare experimental and theoretical sequence spaces of tetrameric proto-peptides. MS-based analyses such as this will be increasingly necessary as origins-of-life researchers move toward systems-level investigations of prebiotic chemistry.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.