Limits...
Life depends upon two kinds of water.

Wiggins P - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: Energy transduction is neither possible and nor necessary.Bioactive enantiomorphs partition into low density water in which they polymerise spontaneously.The simplified model of water has great explanatory power.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. p.wiggins@paradise.net.nz

ABSTRACT

Background: Many well-documented biochemical processes lack a molecular mechanism. Examples are: how ATP hydrolysis and an enzyme contrive to perform work, such as active transport; how peptides are formed from amino acids and DNA from nucleotides; how proteases cleave peptide bonds, how bone mineralses; how enzymes distinguish between sodium and potassium; how chirality of biopolymers was established prebiotically.

Methodology/principal findings: It is shown that involvement of water in all these processes is mandatory, but the water must be of the simplified configuration in which there are only two strengths of water-water hydrogen bonds, and in which these two types of water coexist as microdomains throughout the liquid temperature range. Since they have different strengths of hydrogen bonds, the microdomains differ in all their physical and chemical properties. Solutes partition asymmetrically, generating osmotic pressure gradients which must be compensated for or abolished. Displacement of the equilibrium between high and low density waters incurs a thermodynamic cost which limits solubility, depresses ionisation of water, drives protein folding and prevents high density water from boiling at its intrinsic boiling point which appears to be below 0 degrees C. Active processes in biochemistry take place in sequential partial reactions, most of which release small amounts of free energy as heat. This ensures that the system is never far from equilibrium so that efficiency is extremely high. Energy transduction is neither possible and nor necessary. Chirality was probably established in prebiotic clays which must have carried stable populations of high density and low density water domains. Bioactive enantiomorphs partition into low density water in which they polymerise spontaneously.

Conclusions/significance: The simplified model of water has great explanatory power.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

A partial separation of 20 mM D-and 20 mM L-glucose on a P-4 column, prewashed with 100 mM butanol.The eluting solution contained 100 mM butanol.
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pone-0001406-g003: A partial separation of 20 mM D-and 20 mM L-glucose on a P-4 column, prewashed with 100 mM butanol.The eluting solution contained 100 mM butanol.

Mentions: Polyamide beads both in a column and as a slurry were also used to separate optical isomers of glucose and amino acids. These were very difficult experiments to understand and control. Retention of D-glucose, for example, on a P-4 column, required an external solute excluded from LDW to prevent accumulation of D-glucose from demolishing LDW. The optimal concentration of that solute had to be found by trial and error and was not always the same for different batches of beads. Butanol was found to be a suitable compensating solute. A column was first washed several times with a butanol solution; equal concentrations of D- and L- glucose in the same concentration of butanol, were put on the column and eluted with water. Duplicate experiments with 20 mM L-glucose and 20 mM D-glucose were run: in one D_glucose was labeled with 14C, and in the other L-glucose was labeled. Relative retention of D-glucose is shown in Figure 3, in which the concentration of each glucose was 20 mM and the concentration of butanol 100 mM.


Life depends upon two kinds of water.

Wiggins P - PLoS ONE (2008)

A partial separation of 20 mM D-and 20 mM L-glucose on a P-4 column, prewashed with 100 mM butanol.The eluting solution contained 100 mM butanol.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2170473&req=5

pone-0001406-g003: A partial separation of 20 mM D-and 20 mM L-glucose on a P-4 column, prewashed with 100 mM butanol.The eluting solution contained 100 mM butanol.
Mentions: Polyamide beads both in a column and as a slurry were also used to separate optical isomers of glucose and amino acids. These were very difficult experiments to understand and control. Retention of D-glucose, for example, on a P-4 column, required an external solute excluded from LDW to prevent accumulation of D-glucose from demolishing LDW. The optimal concentration of that solute had to be found by trial and error and was not always the same for different batches of beads. Butanol was found to be a suitable compensating solute. A column was first washed several times with a butanol solution; equal concentrations of D- and L- glucose in the same concentration of butanol, were put on the column and eluted with water. Duplicate experiments with 20 mM L-glucose and 20 mM D-glucose were run: in one D_glucose was labeled with 14C, and in the other L-glucose was labeled. Relative retention of D-glucose is shown in Figure 3, in which the concentration of each glucose was 20 mM and the concentration of butanol 100 mM.

Bottom Line: Energy transduction is neither possible and nor necessary.Bioactive enantiomorphs partition into low density water in which they polymerise spontaneously.The simplified model of water has great explanatory power.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. p.wiggins@paradise.net.nz

ABSTRACT

Background: Many well-documented biochemical processes lack a molecular mechanism. Examples are: how ATP hydrolysis and an enzyme contrive to perform work, such as active transport; how peptides are formed from amino acids and DNA from nucleotides; how proteases cleave peptide bonds, how bone mineralses; how enzymes distinguish between sodium and potassium; how chirality of biopolymers was established prebiotically.

Methodology/principal findings: It is shown that involvement of water in all these processes is mandatory, but the water must be of the simplified configuration in which there are only two strengths of water-water hydrogen bonds, and in which these two types of water coexist as microdomains throughout the liquid temperature range. Since they have different strengths of hydrogen bonds, the microdomains differ in all their physical and chemical properties. Solutes partition asymmetrically, generating osmotic pressure gradients which must be compensated for or abolished. Displacement of the equilibrium between high and low density waters incurs a thermodynamic cost which limits solubility, depresses ionisation of water, drives protein folding and prevents high density water from boiling at its intrinsic boiling point which appears to be below 0 degrees C. Active processes in biochemistry take place in sequential partial reactions, most of which release small amounts of free energy as heat. This ensures that the system is never far from equilibrium so that efficiency is extremely high. Energy transduction is neither possible and nor necessary. Chirality was probably established in prebiotic clays which must have carried stable populations of high density and low density water domains. Bioactive enantiomorphs partition into low density water in which they polymerise spontaneously.

Conclusions/significance: The simplified model of water has great explanatory power.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus