Negatively-charged halide adducts of homochiral serine octamers.

The journal of physical chemistry. B

PubMedID: 16851557

Nanita SC, Cooks RG. Negatively-charged halide adducts of homochiral serine octamers. J Phys Chem B. 2005;109(10):4748-53.
Negatively charged halide adducts of serine octamers, (Ser(8)+2Cl)(2-) and (Ser(8)+2Br)(2-), appear as magic number clusters in the negative ion electrospray mass spectra of solutions containing serine and the halide. Like the well-known protonated serine octamer, these negatively charged adducts are formed with homochiral preference and also undergo chiroselective substitution reactions with other amino acids. Tandem mass spectra of negatively charged halide adducts of serine octamers show that these ions also have a characteristic fragmentation signature. The fact that octamers of both polarities display analogous chemical properties suggests that these may be characteristics of the so-far-unknown neutral octamer. If serine played a key role in the origin of homochirality on the primitive earth, it was likely through both the neutral octamer and the ionic adducts. Unlike the octamers, the formation of halide-containing serine cluster ions of particular sizes is unfavorable under the conditions of the experiment. Signals corresponding to the ions (Ser(9)+2Br)(2-) and (Ser(15)+2Br)(2-) are particularly low in intensity, giving rise to gaps in the distribution of serine/bromide clusters in the negative ion electrospray mass spectra. These cluster sizes are likely to correspond to unstable "anti-magic number" clusters recently reported by Clemmer.