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Photochirogenesis: Photochemical models on the absolute asymmetric formation of amino acids in interstellar space.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21924690     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Proteins of all living organisms including plants, animals, and humans are made up of amino acid monomers that show identical stereochemical l-configuration. Hypotheses for the origin of this symmetry breaking in biomolecules include the absolute asymmetric photochemistry model by which interstellar ultraviolet (UV) circularly polarized light (CPL) induces an enantiomeric excess in chiral organic molecules in the interstellar/circumstellar media. This scenario is supported by a) the detection of amino acids in the organic residues of UV-photo-processed interstellar ice analogues, b) the occurrence of l-enantiomer-enriched amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites, and c) the observation of CPL of the same helicity over large distance scales in the massive star-forming region of Orion. These topics are of high importance in topical biophysical research and will be discussed in this review. Further evidence that amino acids and other molecules of prebiotic interest are asymmetrically formed in space comes from studies on the enantioselective photolysis of amino acids by UV-CPL. Also, experiments have been performed on the absolute asymmetric photochemical synthesis of enantiomer-enriched amino acids from mixtures of astrophysically relevant achiral precursor molecules using UV-circularly polarized photons. Both approaches are based on circular dichroic transitions of amino acids that will be highlighted here as well. These results have strong implications on our current understanding of how life's precursor molecules were possibly built and how life selected the left-handed form of proteinogenic amino acids.
Authors:
Cornelia Meinert; Pierre de Marcellus; Louis Le Sergeant Dʼhendecourt; Laurent Nahon; Nykola C Jones; Søren V Hoffmann; Jan Hendrik Bredehöft; Uwe J Meierhenrich
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-9-3
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physics of life reviews     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-1457     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-9-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101229718     Medline TA:  Phys Life Rev     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Faculté des Sciences, UMR 6001 CNRS, LCMBA, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 28 Avenue Valrose, 06108 Nice, France.
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