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Prebiotic Formation of Protoalkaloids within Alkaline Oceanic Hydrothermal Vents in the Hadean Seafloor as a Prerequisite for Evolutionary Biodiversity

George B. Stefano, Richard M. Kream

Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Center for Cognitive and Molecular Neuroscience, Prague, Czech Republic

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e928415

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.928415

Available online: 2020-09-16

Published: 2020-09-22

ABSTRACT: The primordial origin of abiotic nitrogen fixation, which is not dependent on prokaryotes, reflects the importance of available nitrogenous compounds as an essential requirement for the emergence of life and evolutionary biodiversity. It has been hypothesized that synthesis of oxidized nitrogen in the form of nitrate (NO3-) and nitrite (NO2-), occurred in the prebiotic anoxic Hadean atmosphere. The sustained influx of atmospheric NO3- and NO2- into prebiotic Hadean oceans have been proposed to provide the essential substrates for abiotic synthesis of compounds such as ammonia (NH3) within oceanic alkaline hydrothermal vents in the seafloor. Because NH3 is an essential chemical precursor for nitrogen-containing molecular components of proteins and nucleic acids, abiotic production in high concentrations within Hadean oceanic alkaline hydrothermal vents is required for the emergence of diverse life forms. The chemical evolution of nitrogenous compounds includes the functional development of alkaloids. This commentary aims to critically discuss the possible origin of nitrogen-containing alkaloids and evolutionary processes in higher organisms, including the diverse biomedical mechanisms involved.

Keywords: Alkaloids, Evolution, Molecular, Hydrothermal Vents, Morphine, Nitric Oxide, Nucleic Acids