Mineral catalysis of the formation of the phosphodiester bond in aqueous solution: The possible role of montmorillonite clays
The binding of adenosine to Na+-montmorillonite 22A is greater than 5'-AMP, at neutral pH. Adenine derivatives bind more strongly to the clay than the corresponding uracil derivatives. These data are consistent with the protonation of the adenine by the acidic clay surface and a cationic binding of the protonated ring to the anionic clay surface. Other forces must be operative in the binding of uracil derivatives to the clay since the uracil ring system is not basic. The reaction of the 5'-AMP with water soluble carbodiimide in the presence of Na+-montmorillonite results in the formation of 2',5'-pApA (18.9%), 3',5'-pApA (11%), and AppA (4.8%). When poly(U) is used in place of the clay the product yields are 2',5',-pApA (15.5%), 3',5'-pApA (3.7%) and AppA (14.9%). The cyclic nucleotide, c(pA)2 is also formed when poly(U) is used. AppA is the principal reaction product when neither clay nor poly(U) is present in the reaction mixture. When 2'-deoxy-5'-AMP reacts with carbodiimide in the presence of Na+-montmorillonite 22A the products are dpApA (4.8%), dAppApA (4.5%) and dAppA (17.4%). Cyclic 3',5'-dAMP is the main product (14%) of the reaction of 2'-deoxy-3'-AMP.