Unit C
Coupling of chemo- and biocatalysis

Central objective: Concepts rather than reactions of chemical and biological catalysis will be combined to design and develop semi-artificial enzymes and hybrid devices with new catalytic properties.

  • Generation of semi-artificial enzymes will be approached from both the biological and chemical direction, either by engineering naturally occurring small enzymes or by inserting synthetic cofactors (molecular metal complexes) into a tailored proteinaceous environment.
  • Hybrid biocatalysts and enzyme systems (i.e., whole living cells) will be studied either immobilized on or encapsulated in smart support materials, e.g., via molecular imprinting. Material design with regard to biocompatibility, conductivity, and optical properties will be performed in close collaboration with Units A and D.
  • Central goal of this Research Unit is to develop new catalytic systems, assembled from well-understood native enzymes (Unit B) that are, e.g., genetically modified to accommodate synthetic cofactors with new functionalities (Unit A). One of the target systems will be photosystem II lacking the water-oxidizing Mn4CaO5 cluster. The corresponding empty binding site will be refilled with alternative divalent metals to assemble multinuclear metal complexes whose catalytic competency will be evaluated. 

In a long-term perspective, this may contribute to the establishment of a predictable systemic model for the design of chemzymes – biocatalysts that carry chemically modified catalytic centers and show novel reactivities.

Team

Bittl, Robert
EPR spectroscopy

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Budisa,  Nediljko
Protein modification by non-natural amino acids

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Braun, Thomas
Chemical O2  activation

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Dau, Holger
X-ray  spectroscopy,  QCL-IR/FTIR

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Dobbek, Holger
Biochemistry, X-ray crystallography

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Driess, Matthias
Molecular (heterobimetallic) active site mimics

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Friedrich,  Thomas
Fluorescence spectroscopy (insitu)

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Hildebrandt, Peter
Raman spectroscopy (surface-sensitive, in situ)

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Leimkühler, Silke
Molecular enzymology

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Lenz,  Oliver
Biochemistry, enzyme engineering

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Limberg, Christian
O2 activation, metal complexes for reconstitution

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Mroginski, Maria Andrea
Theory (QM/MM, MD)

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Oestreich, Martin
Artificial organic cofactors

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Ray, Kallol
Bioinorganic chemistry, O2 activation

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Scheerer, Patrick
X-ray crystallography, XFEL

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Thomas, Arne
Functional materials

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Wollenberger, Ulla
Protein electrochemistry

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Zebger, Ingo
IR spectroscopy (surface-sensitive, in situ)

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Zouni, Athina
Assembly/disassembly of PSII, XFEL

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Contact Unit C

Dr. Oliver Lenz
TU Berlin
Institute of Chemistry, Office PC 14
Straße des 17. Juni 135
10623 Berlin
+49 (0)30 314-25650
oliver.lenz(at)tu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Christian Limberg
HU Berlin
Department of Chemistry
Brook-Taylor-Straße 2
12489 Berlin
+49 (0)30 2093-7382
christian.limberg(at)chemie.hu-berlin.de