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Research

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a technique that provides detailed molecular level in­for­mation on paramagnetic centres. In our research we utilize EPR spectroscopy to investigate the role and structure of bioorganic radicals that play key role in some of the fundamental biological processes.

Bioorganic radicals, such as metallocofactors and amino acid-based radicals, are essential in life because they are involved in photosynthesis, respiration, synthesis of DNA building blocks, biological nitrogen fixation and many more. They serve as redox-active intermediates in electron transfer reactions or reactive cofactors at the active site of enzymes. Therefore, the study of bioorganic radicals is crucial to understand enzymatic reaction mechanisms and to design analogous synthetic systems.

Proton-coupled electron transfer in proteins

Enzyme-mediated proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes are fundamental and ubiquitous in biology. They are central to our understanding of reactions in primary metabolism including photosynthesis, respiration and synthesis of DNA building blocks. These reactions share a common catalytic feature, a tyrosyl or modified tyrosyl radical (Y•) that is involved in either concerted or stepwise PCET steps. E. coli class Ia ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) serves as a paradigm for diverse PCET mechanisms in enzymes. It catalyzes the reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides via an unprecedented radical transfer process over 35 Å using at least four Y•s (Y122 and [W48] and Y356 in β2 to Y731 and Y730 and C439 in α2).

We used multi-frequency (9, 34, 94 and 263 GHz) EPR, ENDOR, PELDOR and rapid-freeze-quench (RFQ)-EPR spectroscopies in combination with incorporation of unnatural amino acids to investigate the PCET mechanism at the subunit interface of this protein during catalysis.

© CCB​/​TU Dort­mund

Metalloproteins

A recent example of our research on metalloproteins is the recently discovered small lipoxygenase (LOX) from cyanobacteria. Lipoxygenases are metal-containing (Fe or Mn) enzymes that catalyse the regio- and stereospecific insertion of dioxygen into polyunsaturated fatty acids. We have characterized the metal site of LOX from cyanobacteria as Fe via Fe/Mn substitution and EPR spectroscopy.

© CCB​/​TU Dort­mund

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English).