Wolfgang Lubitz

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Mülheim-on-Ruhr, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (393)1557.92 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on the widely applied fluorogenic peptide FS-6 (Mca-Lys-Pro-Leu-Gly-Leu-Dpa-Ala-Arg-NH2; Mca = methoxycoumarin-4-acetyl; Dpa = N-3-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)l-α,β-diaminopropionyl) a caged substrate peptide Ac-Lys-Pro-Leu-Gly-Lys*-Lys-Ala-Arg-NH2 (*, position of the cage group) for matrix metalloproteinases was synthesized and characterized. The synthesis implies the modification of a carbamidated lysine side-chain amine with a photocleavable 2-nitrobenzyl group. Mass spectrometry upon UV irradiation demonstrated the complete photolytic cleavage of the protecting group. Time-resolved laser-flash photolysis at 355 nm in combination with transient absorption spectroscopy determined the biphasic decomposition with τa = 171 ± 3 ms (79%) and τb = 2.9 ± 0.2 ms (21%) at pH 6.0 of the photo induced release of 2-nitrobenzyl group. The recombinantly expressed catalytic domain of human membrane type I matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP or MMP-14) was used to determine the hydrolysis efficiency for the caged peptide before and after photolysis. It turned out that the cage group sufficiently shields the peptide from peptidase activity, which can be thus controlled by UV light.
    Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 11/2014; · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Hideaki Ogata, Wolfgang Lubitz
    Angewandte Chemie 10/2014;
  • Hideaki Ogata, Wolfgang Lubitz
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    ABSTRACT: A new perspective on enzymes: Free-electron lasers are increasingly used to obtain crystal structures of interesting enzymes like photosystem II from nanocrystals at room temperature, to avoid radiation damage, and to detect structural differences between specific states in the catalytic cycle.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 10/2014; · 13.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogenases are nature's efficient catalysts for both the generation of energy via oxidation of molecular hydrogen and the production of hydrogen via the reduction of protons. However, their O2 sensitivity and deactivation at high potential limit their applications in practical devices, such as fuel cells. Here, we show that the integration of an O2-sensitive hydrogenase into a specifically designed viologen-based redox polymer protects the enzyme from O2 damage and high-potential deactivation. Electron transfer between the polymer-bound viologen moieties controls the potential applied to the active site of the hydrogenase and thus insulates the enzyme from excessive oxidative stress. Under catalytic turnover, electrons provided from the hydrogen oxidation reaction induce viologen-catalysed O2 reduction at the polymer surface, thus providing self-activated protection from O2. The advantages of this tandem protection are demonstrated using a single-compartment biofuel cell based on an O2-sensitive hydrogenase and H2/O2 mixed feed under anode-limiting conditions.
    Nature Chemistry 09/2014; 6(9):822-7. · 21.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The electronic structure of the Mn/Fe cofactor identified in a new class of oxidases (R2lox) described by Andersson and Högbom [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2009, 106, 5633] is reported. The R2lox protein is homologous to the small subunit of class Ic ribonucleotide reductase (R2c), but has a completely different in vivo function. Using multifrequency EPR and related pulse techniques, it is shown that the cofactor of R2lox represents an antiferromagnetically coupled Mn(III)/Fe(III) dimer linked by a μ-hydroxo/bis-μ-carboxylato bridging network. The Mn(III) ion is coordinated by a single water ligand. The R2lox cofactor is photoactive, converting into a second form (R2loxPhoto) upon visible illumination at cryogenic temperatures (77 K) that completely decays upon warming. This second, unstable form of the cofactor more closely resembles the Mn(III)/Fe(III) cofactor seen in R2c. It is shown that the two forms of the R2lox cofactor differ primarily in terms of the local site geometry and electronic state of the Mn(III) ion, as best evidenced by a reorientation of its unique (55)Mn hyperfine axis. Analysis of the metal hyperfine tensors in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest that this change is triggered by deprotonation of the μ-hydroxo bridge. These results have important consequences for mixed-metal R2c cofactor and the divergent chemistry these two systems perform.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 08/2014; · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The photosynthetic protein complex photosystem II oxidizes water to molecular oxygen at an embedded tetramanganese-calcium cluster. Resolving the geometric and electronic structure of this cluster in its highest metastable catalytic state (designated S3) is a prerequisite for understanding the mechanism of O-O bond formation. Here, multifrequency, multidimensional magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that all four manganese ions of the catalyst are structurally and electronically similar immediately before the final oxygen evolution step; they all exhibit a 4+ formal oxidation state and octahedral local geometry. Only one structural model derived from quantum chemical modeling is consistent with all magnetic resonance data; its formation requires the binding of an additional water molecule. O-O bond formation would then proceed by the coupling of two proximal manganese-bound oxygens in the transition state of the cofactor.
    Science 08/2014; 345(6198):804-8. · 31.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photohydrogen generation in microalgae is catalysed by hydroge-nases, which receive electrons from photosystem I via the ferredoxin PETF. The dominant acceptor of photosynthetic electrons is, however, ferredoxin-NADP + -oxidoreductase (FNR). By utilizing targeted ferre-doxin and FNR variants in a light-dependent competition assay, electrons can be redirected to the hydrogenase yielding a five-fold enhanced hydrogen evolution activity.
    Energy & Environmental Science 07/2014; 7(10). · 11.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Please find the abstract attached as a separate word file "abstract".
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 07/2014; · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of four [S2Ni(μ-S)2FeCp*Cl] compounds with different tetradentate thiolate/thioether ligands bound to the Ni(II) ion is reported (Cp* = C5Me5). The {S2Ni(μ-S)2Fe} core of these compounds resembles structural features of the active site of [NiFe] hydrogenases. Detailed analyses of the electronic structures of these compounds by Mössbauer and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, magnetic measurements, and density functional theory calculations reveal the oxidation states Ni(II) low spin and Fe(II) high spin for the metal ions. The same electronic configurations have been suggested for the Cred1 state of the C-cluster [NiFeu] subsite in carbon monoxide dehydrogenases (CODH). The Ni-Fe distance of ∼3 Å excludes a metal-metal bond between nickel and iron, which is in agreement with the computational results. Electrochemical experiments show that iron is the redox active site in these complexes, performing a reversible one-electron oxidation. The four complexes are discussed with regard to their similarities and differences both to the [NiFe] hydrogenases and the C-cluster of Ni-containing CODH.
    Inorganic chemistry. 06/2014;
  • Johannes Messinger, Wolfgang Lubitz, Jian-Ren Shen
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 05/2014; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The EPR "split signals" represent key intermediates of the S-state cycle where the redox active D1-Tyr161 (YZ) has been oxidized by the reaction center of the photosystem II enzyme to its tyrosyl radical form, but the successive oxidation of the Mn4CaO5 cluster has not yet occurred (SiYZ˙). Here we focus on the S2YZ˙ state, which is formed en route to the final metastable state of the catalyst, the S3 state, the state which immediately precedes O-O bond formation. Quantum chemical calculations demonstrate that both isomeric forms of the S2 state, the open and closed cubane isomers, can form states with an oxidized YZ˙ residue without prior deprotonation of the Mn4CaO5 cluster. The two forms are expected to lie close in energy and retain the electronic structure and magnetic topology of the corresponding S2 state of the inorganic core. As expected, tyrosine oxidation results in a proton shift towards His190. Analysis of the electronic rearrangements that occur upon formation of the tyrosyl radical suggests that a likely next step in the catalytic cycle is the deprotonation of a terminal water ligand (W1) of the Mn4CaO5 cluster. Diamagnetic metal ion substitution is used in our calculations to obtain the molecular g-tensor of YZ˙. It is known that the gx value is a sensitive probe not only of the extent of the proton shift between the tyrosine-histidine pair, but also of the polarization environment of the tyrosine, especially about the phenolic oxygen. It is shown for PSII that this environment is determined by the Ca(2+) ion, which locates two water molecules about the phenoxyl oxygen, indirectly modulating the oxidation potential of YZ.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 04/2014; · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Chemical Reviews 03/2014; · 41.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of high-field EPR with site-directed spin-labeling (SDSL) techniques employing nitroxide radicals has turned out to be particularly powerful in probing the polarity and proticity characteristics of protein/matrix systems. This information is concluded from the principal components of the nitroxide Zeeman (g), nitrogen hyperfine (A) and quadrupole (P) tensors of the spin labels attached to specific sites. Recent multi-frequency high-field EPR studies underlined the complexity of the problem to treat the nitroxide microenvironment in proteins adequately due to inherent heterogeneities which result in several principal x-components of the nitroxide g-tensor. Concomitant, but distinctly different nitrogen hyperfine components could, however, not be determined from high-field cw EPR experiments owing to the large intrinsic EPR linewidth in fully protonated guest/host systems. It is shown in this work that, using the W-band (95GHz) ELDOR- (electron-electron double resonance) detected NMR (EDNMR) method, different principal nitrogen hyperfine, Azz, and quadrupole, Pzz, tensor values of a nitroxide radical in glassy 2-propanol matrix can be measured with high accuracy. They belong to nitroxides with different hydrogen-bond situations. The satisfactory resolution and superior sensitivity of EDNMR as compared to the standard ENDOR (electron-nuclear double resonance) method are demonstrated.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance 03/2014; 242C:203-213. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The S2 state of the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II, which consists of a Mn4O5Ca cofactor, is EPR-active, typically displaying a multiline signal, which arises from a ground spin state of total spin ST = 1/2. The precise appearance of the signal varies amongst different photosynthetic species, preparation and solvent conditions/compositions. Over the past five years, using the model species Thermosynechococcus elongatus, we have examined modifications that induce changes in the multiline signal, i.e. Ca(2+)/Sr(2+)-substitution and the binding of ammonia, to ascertain how structural perturbations of the cluster are reflected in its magnetic/electronic properties. This refined analysis, which now includes high-field (W-band) data, demonstrates that the electronic structure of the S2 state is essentially invariant to these modifications. This assessment is based on spectroscopies that examine the metal centres themselves (EPR, (55)Mn-ENDOR) and their first coordination sphere ligands ((14)N/(15)N- and (17)O-ESEEM, -HYSCORE and -EDNMR). In addition, extended quantum mechanical models from broken-symmetry DFT now reproduce all EPR, (55)Mn and (14)N experimental magnetic observables, with the inclusion of second coordination sphere ligands being crucial for accurately describing the interaction of NH3 with the Mn tetramer. These results support a mechanism of multiline heterogeneity reported for species differences and the effect of methanol [Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Bioenerg., 2011, 1807, 829], involving small changes in the magnetic connectivity of the solvent accessible outer MnA4 to the cuboidal unit Mn3O3Ca, resulting in predictable changes of the measured effective (55)Mn hyperfine tensors. Sr(2+) and NH3 replacement both affect the observed (17)O-EDNMR signal envelope supporting the assignment of O5 as the exchangeable μ-oxo bridge and it acting as the first site of substrate inclusion.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 02/2014; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) belongs to the large family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases termed MMPs that are located in the extracellular matrix. MT1-MMP was crystallized at 277 K using the vapour-diffusion method with PEG as a precipitating agent. Data sets for MT1-MMP were collected to 2.24 Å resolution at 100 K. The crystals belonged to space group P43212, with unit-cell parameters a = 62.99, c = 122.60 Å. The crystal contained one molecule per asymmetric unit, with a Matthews coefficient (VM) of 2.90 Å(3) Da(-1); the solvent content is estimated to be 57.6%.
    Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology communications. 02/2014; 70(Pt 2):232-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Synthesis and X-ray structural analyses of three NiS4 compounds with aliphatic tetradentate thiolato/thioether ligands―[Ni(xch)], [Ni(pdtch)], and [Ni(pdtdm)], in which H2xch, H2pdtch, and H2pdtdm are α,α′-bis(trans-2-mercapto-1-thiacyclohexyl)-o-xylene, 1,3-bis(trans-2-mercapto-1-thiacyclohexyl)propane, and 1,9-dimercapto-3,7-dithia-2,2,8,8-tetramethylnonane―are reported and further investigated by NMR spectroscopy, electronic absorption spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. The molecular and electronic structures of these nickel complexes are described. All complexes are square planar and show only a small tetrahedral distortion, consistent with a low-spin nickel(II) center (S = 0). Cyclic voltammetry data reveal that for all compounds both one-electron oxidation and reduction are irreversible, which is explained by means of DFT calculations. The presented complexes are discussed with regard to their suitability as precursors for dinuclear [NiFe]–hydrogenase model compounds.
    Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 01/2014; 2014(1). · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Base metal, molecular catalysts for the fundamental process of conversion of protons and electrons to dihydrogen, remain a substantial synthetic goal related to a sustainable energy future. Here we report a diiron complex with bridging thiolates in the butterfly shape of the 2Fe2S core of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase active site but with nitrosyl rather than carbonyl or cyanide ligands. This binuclear [(NO)Fe(N2S2)Fe(NO)2](+) complex maintains structural integrity in two redox levels; it consists of a (N2S2)Fe(NO) complex (N2S2=N,N'-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)-1,4-diazacycloheptane) that serves as redox active metallodithiolato bidentate ligand to a redox active dinitrosyl iron unit, Fe(NO)2. Experimental and theoretical methods demonstrate the accommodation of redox levels in both components of the complex, each involving electronically versatile nitrosyl ligands. An interplay of orbital mixing between the Fe(NO) and Fe(NO)2 sites and within the iron nitrosyl bonds in each moiety is revealed, accounting for the interactions that facilitate electron uptake, storage and proton reduction.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:3684. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some organisms can survive complete dehydration and high temperatures by adopting an anhydrobiotic state in which the intracellular medium contains large amounts of disaccharides, particularly trehalose and sucrose. Trehalose is most effective also in protecting isolated in vitro biostructures. In an attempt to clarify the molecular mechanisms of disaccharide bioprotection, we compared the structure and dynamics of sucrose and trehalose matrices at different hydration levels by means of high-field W-band EPR and FTIR spectroscopy. The hydration state of the samples was characterized by FTIR spectroscopy and the structural organization was probed by EPR using a nitroxide radical dissolved in the respective matrices. Analysis of the EPR spectra showed that the structure and dynamics of the dehydrated matrices as well as their evolution upon re-hydration differ substantially between trehalose and sucrose. The dehydrated trehalose matrix is homogeneous in terms of distribution of the residual water and spin-probe molecules. In contrast, dehydrated sucrose forms a heterogeneous matrix. It is comprised of sucrose polycrystalline clusters and several bulk water domains. The amorphous form was found only in 30% (volume) of the sucrose matrix. Re-hydration leads to a structural homogenization of the sucrose matrix, whilst in the trehalose matrix several domains develop differing in the local water/radical content and radical mobility. The molecular model of the matrices provides an explanation for the different protein-matrix dynamical coupling observed in dried ternary sucrose and trehalose matrices, and accounts for the superior efficacy of trehalose as a bioprotectant. Furthermore, for bacterial photosynthetic reaction centers it is shown that at low water content the protein-matrix coupling is modulated by the sugar/protein molar ratio in sucrose matrices only. This effect is suggested to be related to the preference for sucrose, rather than trehalose, as a bioprotective disaccharide in some anhydrobiotic organisms.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12/2013; · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Klaus Möbius, Wolfgang Lubitz, Anton Savitsky
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    ABSTRACT: In this review on advanced EPR spectroscopy, which addresses both the EPR and NMR communities, considerable emphasis is put on delineating the complementarity of NMR and EPR concerning the measurement of molecular interactions in large biomolecules. From these interactions, detailed information can be revealed on structure and dynamics of macromolecules embedded in solution- or solid-state environments. New developments in pulsed microwave and sweepable cryomagnet technology as well as ultrafast electronics for signal data handling and processing have pushed to new horizons the limits of EPR spectroscopy and its multifrequency extensions concerning the sensitivity of detection, the selectivity with respect to interactions, and the resolution in frequency and time domains. One of the most important advances has been the extension of EPR to high magnetic fields and microwave frequencies, very much in analogy to what happens in NMR. This is exemplified by referring to ongoing efforts for signal enhancement in both NMR and EPR double-resonance techniques by exploiting dynamic nuclear or electron spin polarization via unpaired electron spins and their electron-nuclear or electron-electron interactions. Signal and resolution enhancements are particularly spectacular for double-resonance techniques such as ENDOR and PELDOR at high magnetic fields. They provide greatly improved orientational selection for disordered samples that approaches single-crystal resolution at canonical g-tensor orientations - even for molecules with small g-anisotropies. Exchange of experience between the EPR and NMR communities allows for handling polarization and resolution improvement strategies in an optimal manner. Consequently, a dramatic improvement of EPR detection sensitivity could be achieved, even for short-lived paramagnetic reaction intermediates. Unique structural and dynamic information is thus revealed that can hardly be obtained by any other analytical techniques. Micromolar quantities of sample molecules have become sufficient to characterize stable and transient reaction intermediates of complex molecular systems - offering highly interesting applications for chemists, biochemists and molecular biologists. In three case studies, representative examples of advanced EPR spectroscopy are reviewed: (I) High-field PELDOR and ENDOR structure determination of cation-anion radical pairs in reaction centers from photosynthetic purple bacteria and cyanobacteria (Photosystem I); (II) High-field ENDOR and ELDOR-detected NMR spectroscopy on the oxygen-evolving complex of Photosystem II; and (III) High-field electron dipolar spectroscopy on nitroxide spin-labelled bacteriorhodopsin for structure-function studies. An extended conclusion with an outlook to further developments and applications is also presented.
    Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy 11/2013; 75:1-49. · 6.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although metallocofactors are ubiquitous in enzyme catalysis, how metal binding specificity arises remains poorly understood, especially in the case of metals with similar primary ligand preferences such as manganese and iron. The biochemical selection of manganese over iron presents a particularly intricate problem because manganese is generally present in cells at a lower concentration than iron, while also having a lower predicted complex stability according to the Irving-Williams series (Mn(II) < Fe(II) < Ni(II) < Co(II) < Cu(II) > Zn(II)). Here we show that a heterodinuclear Mn/Fe cofactor with the same primary protein ligands in both metal sites self-assembles from Mn(II) and Fe(II) in vitro, thus diverging from the Irving-Williams series without requiring auxiliary factors such as metallochaperones. Crystallographic, spectroscopic, and computational data demonstrate that one of the two metal sites preferentially binds Fe(II) over Mn(II) as expected, whereas the other site is nonspecific, binding equal amounts of both metals in the absence of oxygen. Oxygen exposure results in further accumulation of the Mn/Fe cofactor, indicating that cofactor assembly is at least a two-step process governed by both the intrinsic metal specificity of the protein scaffold and additional effects exerted during oxygen binding or activation. We further show that the mixed-metal cofactor catalyzes a two-electron oxidation of the protein scaffold, yielding a tyrosine-valine ether cross-link. Theoretical modeling of the reaction by density functional theory suggests a multistep mechanism including a valyl radical intermediate.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
1,557.92 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2014
    • Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
      Mülheim-on-Ruhr, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • John Innes Centre
      • Department of Biological Chemistry
      Norwich, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1975–2013
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      • • Department of Physics
      • • Institute of Experimental Physics
      • • Division of Organic Chemistry
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2003–2012
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Chemistry
      Davis, CA, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 2010–2011
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
      • Department of Plant Sciences
  • 1991–2011
    • Technische Universität Berlin
      • Department of Chemistry
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 2008–2009
    • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      • Fachbereich Biochemie
      Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • University of Bonn
      • Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2005–2009
    • Max Planck Society
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1996–2008
    • Arizona State University
      • • The Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis
      • • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 1984–2007
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Physics
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 2004
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      • Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2000
    • University of Glasgow
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1998
    • The University of Sheffield
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Department of Internal Medicine I
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1995
    • University of Wuerzburg
      • Julius-von-Sachs-Institut of Biosciences
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany