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The Conservation of Homochirality and the Prebiotic Synthesis of Amino Acids

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  • Harold J. Morowitz

Abstract

In autotrophs all synthetic pathways for amino acids except that for glutamic acid involve a transamination reaction with a glutamate donor. It is argued that these reactions conserve chirality so that the homochirality of glutamate generates 18 amino acids of the same stereospecificity. The role of pyridoxal phosphate is explored with respect to biotic and prebiotic transamination. The reason for amino acids and sugars having different stereospecificities is discussed for synthesis of essential compounds involving both an amino acid and a sugar.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold J. Morowitz, 2001. "The Conservation of Homochirality and the Prebiotic Synthesis of Amino Acids," Working Papers 01-03-017, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-03-017
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