Astrobiology 2021 Apr;21(4):405-412
Centre for Astrobiology, SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
The presence of perchlorate ions on Mars raises the question of how these ions influence the biochemistry of any contaminant life introduced into the martian environment, or what selection pressures perchlorate ions exert on any environment that contains these ions, such as the Atacama Desert. In this study, we investigated the structure, stability, and enzyme activity of the model enzyme α-chymotrypsin in the presence of five Mars relevant salts, MgSO, MgCl, Mg(ClO), Ca(ClO), and NaClO. We found that all the perchlorate salts reduced the enzyme activity of α-chymotrypsin in a concentration-dependent manner, with Mg(ClO) and Ca(ClO) having the greatest effect. Read More