Biomolecular Chemistry

The aim of our research is to structurally and functionally characterize proteins, and to exploit the working mode of proteins in biochemical, biomedical and biotechnological applications.

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Our research
and its applications

We characterise selected proteins to find out what they are good for and how they work in detail. Next we train these proteins, so that they are not doing their usual job, but new, designed functions relevant to biotechnology and health care.


Reprogramming reaction
modes of proteins

Proteins are important building blocks of life, and present in every living organism. Proteins are involved in structural tasks, like collagen as the major part of the connective tissue, or have specific functional roles. Such functions can be the binding and transport of compounds, like oxygen, vitamins, hormones or other proteins, or the catalysis of chemical reactions, like the breakdown of many nutrients to the central metabolic compound acetyl-CoA, or the synthesis of the universal energy carrier ATP.


Fatty acid synthases and
polyketide synthases

Fatty acid synthases as target of inhibition. Involved in key metabolic pathway, fatty acid synthases represent promising targets for antibiotic and anti-neoplastic treatment.
The use of type I fatty acid synthases (FAS) and type I polyketide synthases (PKS) as multistep catalysts for directed product synthesis. The synthetic concept of these proteins provides high potential for biocatalytic approaches.


Our methods

Our research employs relevant methods in the fields of molecular biology and structural biology on protein. We have expertise in cloning, cell cultivation, (recombinant) protein expression, chromatographic and electrophoretic methods, blotting techniques, enzyme and inhibitor studies, standard spectroscopic methods and X-ray crystallography. Instrumentation is available for cloning, bacterial cell culture, cell lysis, protein purification(ÄKTA), Plate reader, X-ray structural studies (tools for cryo crystallography, in house access to pipetting robots, access to synchrotron beamlines), EM structural studies (in cooperation with MPI of Biophysics, on campus) and analytical studies “UPLC-microTOF II” HPLC-MS system.


Location

The Buchmann Institute of Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS) is located at the University of Frankfurt (Riedberg Campus) in the north of Frankfurt am Main. The building with its diverse labs, facilities and offices is brand-new and extremely well equipped. The campus harbors the different life science and chemical faculties of the university, lecture and library buildings, and the Max-Planck-Institutes of Biophysics and Brain Research comprising all disciplines and methods of life sciences.


Funding

Our research has been generously supported by BMLS, CEF, DFG, HMWK, Volkswagen Stiftung and the University of Frankfurt.