Role Of Manganese Oxides In Peptide Synthesis: Implication In Chemical Evolution
During the course of chemical evolution the role of metal oxides may have been very significant in catalysing the polymerization of biomonomers. The peptide bond formation of alanine (ala) and glycine (gly) in the presence of various oxides of manganese were performed for a period of 35 days at three different temperatures 50, 90 and 120°C without applying drying/wetting cycling. The reaction was monitored every week. The products formed were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry techniques. Trace amount of oligomers was observed at 50°C. Maximum yield of peptides was found after 35 days at 90°C. It is important to note that very high temperatures of 120°C favoured the formation of diketopiperazine derivatives. Different types of manganese oxides [manganosite (MnO), bixbyite (Mn2O3), hausmannite (Mn3O4) and pyrolusite (MnO2)] were used as catalyst. The MnO catalysed glycine to cyclic (Gly)2, (Gly)2 and (Gly)3, and alanine, to cyclic (Ala)2 and (Ala)2. Mn3O4 also produced the same products but in lesser yield, while Mn2O3 and MnO2 produced cyclic anhydride of glycine and alanine with a trace amount of dimers and trimmers. Manganese of lower oxidation state is much more efficient in propagating the reaction than higher oxidation states. The possible mechanism of these reactions and the relevance of the results for the prebiotic chemistry are discussed.