Chiroptical properties of membrane glycerophospholipids and their chiral backbones

Jana Bocková, Adrien D. Garcia, Nykola C. Jones, Søren Vrønning Hoffmann, Cornelia Meinert

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Glycerophospholipid membranes are one of the key cellular components. Still, their species-dependent composition and homochirality remain an elusive subject. In the context of the astrophysical circularly polarized light scenario likely involved in the generation of a chiral bias in meteoritic amino and sugar acids in space, and consequently in the origin of life’s homochirality on Earth, this study reports the first measurements of circular dichroism and anisotropy spectra of a selection of glycerophospholipids, their chiral backbones and their analogs. The rather low asymmetry in the interaction of UV/VUV circularly polarized light with sn-glycerol-1/3-phosphate indicates that chiral photons would have been unlikely to directly induce symmetry breaking to membrane lipids. In contrast, the anisotropy spectra of D-3-phosphoglyceric acid and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate unveil up to 20- and 100-times higher maximum anisotropy factor values, respectively. This first experimental report, targeted on investigating the origins of phospholipid symmetry breaking, opens up new avenues of research to explore alternative mechanisms leading to membrane lipid homochirality, while providing important clues for the search for chiral biosignatures of extant and/or extinct life in space, in particular for the ExoMars 2028 mission.
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 28 feb. 2024


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