Abiogenic Photophosphorylation of ADP to ATP Sensitized by Flavoproteinoid Microspheres

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Abstract

A model for abiogenic photophosphorylation of ADP by orthophosphate to yield ATP was studied. The model is based on the photochemical activity of flavoproteinoid microspheres that are formed by aggregation in an aqueous medium of products of thermal condensation of a glutamic acid, glycine and lysine mixture (8:3:1) and contain, along with amino acid polymers (proteinoids), abiogenic isoalloxazine (flavin) pigments. Irradiation of aqueous suspensions of microspheres with blue visible light or ultraviolet in the presence of ADP and orthophosphate resulted in ATP formation. The yield of ATP in aerated suspensions was 10–20% per one mol of starting ADP. Deaeration reduced the photophosphorylating activity of microspheres five to 10 times. Treatment of aerated microsphere suspensions with superoxide dismutase during irradiation partially suppressed ATP formation. Deaerated microspheres restored completely their photophosphorylating activity after addition of hydrogen peroxide to the suspension. The photophosphorylating activity of deaerated suspensions of flavoproteinoid microspheres was also recovered by introduction of Fe3+-cytochrome c, an electron acceptor alternative to oxygen. On the basis of the results obtained, a chemical mechanism of phosphorylation is proposed in which the free radical form of reduced flavin sensitizer Symbol and ADP are involved.

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