How proteins control electrons: Protons
Prof. Anne-Frances Miller
University of Kentucky, Department of Chemistry
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Buckel
Life finds ways to survive disruptive chemo-environmental catastrophes, and benefit from them. To the anaerobic organisms of the time, the rise of O2 was a lethal wave of toxic waste, but those that acquired anti-oxidant defenses were able to exploit O2 via respiration and now dominate the world. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is central to the antioxidant defenses of life and these enzymes offer valuable insights into control of reactive intermediates, tuning of the reactivity of bound transition metal ions and resilience to oxidative damage. This seminar will show how the protein of SOD is able to tune the reduction midpoint potential of bound Fe and even adapt to use Mn instead, as part of evolution for tolerance to O2.