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Issue 3, 2011
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Chiral interactions of histidine in a hydrated vermiculite clay

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Abstract

Recent work shows a correlation between chiral asymmetry in non-terrestrial amino acids extracted from the Murchison meteorite and the presence of hydrous mineral phases in the meteorite [D. P. Glavin and J. P. Dworkin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2009, 106, 5487–5492]. This highlights the need for sensitive experimental tests of the interactions of amino acids with clay minerals together with high level computational work. We present here the results of in situneutron scattering experiments designed to follow amino acid adsorption on an exchanged, 1-dimensionally ordered n-propyl ammonium vermiculite clay. The vermiculite gel has a (001) d-spacing of order 5 nm at the temperature and concentration of the experiments and the d-spacing responds sensitively to changes in concentration, temperature and electronic environment. The data show that isothermal addition of D-histidine or L-histidine solutions of the same concentration leads to an anti-osmotic swelling, and shifts in the d-spacing that are different for each enantiomer. This chiral specificity, measured in situ, in real time in the neutron beam, is of interest for the question of whether clays could have played an important role in the origin of biohomochirality.

Graphical abstract: Chiral interactions of histidine in a hydrated vermiculite clay

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Aug 2010, accepted on 12 Oct 2010 and first published on 28 Oct 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP01387K
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 825-830
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    Chiral interactions of histidine in a hydrated vermiculite clay

    D. G. Fraser, H. C. Greenwell, N. T. Skipper, M. V. Smalley, M. A. Wilkinson, B. Demé and R. K. Heenan, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 825
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CP01387K

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