Harnessing Chemical Energy for the Activation and Joining of Prebiotic Building Blocks

Simultaneous activation of carboxylates and phosphates provides multiple pathways for the generation of reactive intermediates, including mixed carboxylic acid-phosphoric acid anhydrides, for the synthesis of peptidyl-RNAs, peptides, RNA oligomers and primordial phospholipids. These results indicate that unified prebiotic activation chemistry could have enabled the joining of building blocks in aqueous solution from a common pool and enabled the progression of a system towards higher complexity foreshadowing the modern encapsulated peptide-nucleic acid system