Urea-Inorganic Phosphate Mixtures as Prebiotic Phosphorylating Agents

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Science  05 Feb 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3970, pp. 490-494
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3970.490


Previous attempts to phosphorylate nucleosides by heating with inorganic phosphate succeeeded only when acid phosphates such as Ca(HPO4)2 were used. The addition of urea and ammonium chloride to the reaction mixture permits phosphorylation in high yield with neutral or basic phosphates at temperatures in the range of 65° to 100°C. Since the abundant mineral, hydroxylapatite, is a satisfactory substrate for this reaction, we believe that this procedure plausible model for prebiotic phosphorylation.