Racemic Phospholipids for Origin of Life Studies

Emiliano Altamura, Arnaud Comte, Alice D'Onofrio, Charlotte Roussillon, Dimitri Fayolle, René Buchet, Fabio Mavelli, Pasquale Stano, Michele Fiore, Peter Strazewski
<span title="2020-07-03">2020</span> <i title="MDPI AG"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/nzoj5rayr5hutlurimhzyjlory" style="color: black;">Symmetry</a> </i> &nbsp;
Although prebiotic condensations of glycerol, phosphate and fatty acids produce phospholipid esters with a racemic backbone, most experimental studies on vesicles intended as protocell models have been carried out by employing commercial enantiopure phospholipids. Current experimental research on realistic protocell models urgently requires racemic phospholipids and efficient synthetic routes for their production. Here we propose three synthetic pathways starting from glycerol or from racemic
more &raquo; ... lketal (α,β-isopropylidene-dl-glycerol) for the gram-scale production (up to 4 g) of racemic phospholipid ester precursors. We describe and compare these synthetic pathways with literature data. Racemic phosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylethanolamines were obtained in good yields and high purity from 1,2-diacylglycerols. Racemic POPC (rac-POPC, (R,S)-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-3-phosphocholine), was used as a model compound for the preparation of giant vesicles (GVs). Confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy was used to compare GVs prepared from enantiopure (R)-POPC), racemic POPC (rac-POPC) and a scalemic mixture (scal-POPC) of (R)-POPC enriched with rac-POPC. Vesicle morphology and size distribution were similar among the different (R)-POPC, rac-POPC and scal-POPC, while calcein entrapments in (R)-POPC and in scal-POPC were significantly distinct by about 10%.
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