Lanthanides (Ln), the group of elements from lanthanum to lutetium, are indispensable for all technologies used in our daily lives. Surprisingly, certain bacteria require these elements for growth, and remarkably, the biological role of the lanthanides has been known for less than a decade. The naturally occurring actinides thorium and uranium are commonly found together with lanthanides in ores and some actinides that are a result of nuclear reactor processes, have similar ionic radii to the early, trivalent lanthanides. Our project “Interaction of lanthanide-dependent bacterial proteins with actinides” will explore whether actinide elements can bind and replace lanthanides in the active sites of Ln-proteins.
The Klaus Tschira Boost Fund allows me to bring together my group who is working on elucidating the mechanisms and metal binding properties of lanthanide dependent proteins with microbiologists Prof. Huub Op den Camp, Radboud University, Netherlands and Prof. Cecilia Martinez-Gomez, Michigan State University, USA, and well as with spectroscopist Dr. Robin Steudtner (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany) and radiochemist Prof. Georg Steinhauser (IRS Hannover, Germany). We will be able to buy specialized equipment, isotopes, pay for a PhD student and cover travel expenses with the Klaus Tschira Boost Fund to conduct this international and interdisciplinary project together.
... would write a chemistry related cookbook and travel more!
Name: Prof. Dr. Lena J. Daumann
Research field: Bioinorganic Chemistry
Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München