From technology applications in solar cells, mobile phones, batteries and lasers to counterfeiting tags in our Euro currency, Rare Earth Elements (REEs) have steadily made their way into our everyday lives. In 2014 it was discovered that many bacteria depend on REE for growth. The respective enzyme responsible for this dependence is a methanol dehydrogenase (MDH). We aim to understand the bioinorganic chemistry of REE with the help of spectroscopic and kinetic studies of the enzymes. In this project, you will cultivate the methylotroph M. extorquens AM1 on large scale and isolate MDH containing either Ca2+ or La3+ in their active site. After protein purification via FPLC, you will compare them spectroscopically and assess them using enzyme activity assays to understand the effect of the metal on the enzyme and its activity.
Contact: Prof. Dr. Lena Daumann, lena.daumann[ät]lmu.de