Sorting out Peptide Mixtures
Scientists supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program have developed a new method to analyze mixtures of glycine and glycine oligomers using ion-pair high-performance liquid chromatography (IP-HPLC). The study focuses on glycine, but the team believes that the method can be adapted for other amino acids. The method has applications in origins-of-life research where the synthesis of peptides in conditions similar to the early Earth is a major focus.
Previous methods for analyzing mixtures of glycine (and other amino-acid polymers) have been put forward by the research community, but there is no standard approach that is used across origins-of-life studies. As such, the team behind developing the new method compared and contrasted the results of their study to previously reported methods in order to help guide future investigations.
The study, “Quantitative Analysis of Glycine Oligomerization by Ion-Pair Chromatography,” was published in the journal ACS Omega. The work was performed at the NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution (CCE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. The CCE is a collaborative program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the NASA Astrobiology Program.