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Title: Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids

Abstract

The –CH–NH{sub 2} moiety represents the fundamental building block of all proteinogenic amino acids, with the cyclic amino acid proline being a special case (–CH–NH– in proline). Exploiting a chemical retrosynthesis, we reveal that methylamine (CH{sub 3}NH{sub 2}) and/or ethylamine (CH{sub 3}CH{sub 2}NH{sub 2}) are essential precursors in the formation of each proteinogenic amino acid. In the present study we elucidate the abiotic formation of methylamine and ethylamine from ammonia (NH{sub 3}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) ices exposed to secondary electrons generated by energetic cosmic radiation in cometary and interstellar model ices. Our experiments show that methylamine and ethylamine are crucial reaction products in irradiated ices composed of ammonia and methane. Using isotopic substitution studies we further obtain valuable information on the specific reaction pathways toward methylamine. The very recent identification of methylamine and ethylamine together with glycine in the coma of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko underlines their potential to the extraterrestrial formation of amino acids.

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. W. M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, HI, 96822 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663248
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 845; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMMONIA; COMETS; COSMIC GASES; COSMIC RADIATION; COSMOLOGY; ELECTRONS; GLYCINE; ICE; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; ISOTOPIC EXCHANGE; METHANE; METHYLAMINE; PROLINE; SPACE

Citation Formats

Förstel, Marko, Bergantini, Alexandre, Maksyutenko, Pavlo, Góbi, Sándor, and Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu. Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7EDD.
Förstel, Marko, Bergantini, Alexandre, Maksyutenko, Pavlo, Góbi, Sándor, & Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu. Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7EDD.
Förstel, Marko, Bergantini, Alexandre, Maksyutenko, Pavlo, Góbi, Sándor, and Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu. Thu . "Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7EDD.
@article{osti_22663248,
title = {Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids},
author = {Förstel, Marko and Bergantini, Alexandre and Maksyutenko, Pavlo and Góbi, Sándor and Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu},
abstractNote = {The –CH–NH{sub 2} moiety represents the fundamental building block of all proteinogenic amino acids, with the cyclic amino acid proline being a special case (–CH–NH– in proline). Exploiting a chemical retrosynthesis, we reveal that methylamine (CH{sub 3}NH{sub 2}) and/or ethylamine (CH{sub 3}CH{sub 2}NH{sub 2}) are essential precursors in the formation of each proteinogenic amino acid. In the present study we elucidate the abiotic formation of methylamine and ethylamine from ammonia (NH{sub 3}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) ices exposed to secondary electrons generated by energetic cosmic radiation in cometary and interstellar model ices. Our experiments show that methylamine and ethylamine are crucial reaction products in irradiated ices composed of ammonia and methane. Using isotopic substitution studies we further obtain valuable information on the specific reaction pathways toward methylamine. The very recent identification of methylamine and ethylamine together with glycine in the coma of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko underlines their potential to the extraterrestrial formation of amino acids.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA7EDD},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 1,
volume = 845,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}