1989 Volume 5 Issue 4 Pages 411-414
Peptide synthesis from amino acids has been shown to occur in aqueous solutions at high concentrations of sodium chloride and in the presence of Cu(II) after several days at 85°C, under nitrogen or air as well. Di- and tripeptides could be obtained in a series of experiments which have yet to be optimized. However, these experiments have proved the principle applicability of a model which is based on the structural features of concentrated aqueous NaCl solutions and evidence of catalytic effects in peptide condensation reactions exerted by di- and trivalent metal ions. Among the ions of Mg, Ca, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Fe, Cu, Zn and Cd, only copper was found to be active under these conditions. This leads to new aspects for possible prebiotic peptide syntheses based on a very simple system of only water, amino acids and mineral salts.