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Experimental verification of photostability for free- and bound-amino acids exposed to γ-rays and UV irradiation

Abstract

The photo-stability of simulated free and bound amino acids exposed to photon sources of 1.2–1.3 MeV γ-rays from a 60C° source and ultra-violet (UV) irradiation from a 10 eV deuterium lamp was examined. The free amino acids in aqueous solution were drastically decreased while the bound amino acids in aqueous solution were slightly decreased with the duration of γ-rays and UV irradiation. The apparent half-lives (t1/2) of bound serine and threonine under γ-rays irradiation were more than 10.6 and 27.9 times as stable as the free amino acids, respectively. The photo-stability of bound amino acids was greater than that of free amino acids under irradiation by high-energy photons. These results strongly suggest that bound, but not free, amino acids could be found in extraterrestrial environments. Radio- or photo-alteration processes are mainly decomposition pathways, with the production of secondary amino acids via decomposition of the α-carboxylic group; β-alanine and γ-aminobutyric acids, α-decarboxylation products of aspartic acid and glutamic acid, respectively, were detected.

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Correspondence to Yoshinori Takano.

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Takano, Y., Kaneko, T., Kobayashi, K. et al. Experimental verification of photostability for free- and bound-amino acids exposed to γ-rays and UV irradiation. Earth Planet Sp 56, 669–674 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352529

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352529

Key words

  • Photostability
  • free- and bound-amino acids
  • irradiation experiment
  • half-lives