Autocatalytic and oscillatory reaction networks that form guanidines and products of their cyclization

Alexander I Novichkov, Anton I Hanopolskyi, Xiaoming Miao, Linda J W Shimon, Yael Diskin-Posner, Sergey N Semenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autocatalytic and oscillatory networks of organic reactions are important for designing life-inspired materials and for better understanding the emergence of life on Earth; however, the diversity of the chemistries of these reactions is limited. In this work, we present the thiol-assisted formation of guanidines, which has a mechanism analogous to that of native chemical ligation. Using this reaction, we designed autocatalytic and oscillatory reaction networks that form substituted guanidines from thiouronium salts. The thiouronium salt-based oscillator show good stability of oscillations within a broad range of experimental conditions. By using nitrile-containing starting materials, we constructed an oscillator where the concentration of a bicyclic derivative of dihydropyrimidine oscillates. Moreover, the mixed thioester and thiouronium salt-based oscillator show unique responsiveness to chemical cues. The reactions developed in this work expand our toolbox for designing out-of-equilibrium chemical systems and link autocatalytic and oscillatory chemistry to the synthesis of guanidinium derivatives and the products of their transformations including analogs of nucleobases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2994
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 May 2021


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