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The Bochum scientists Martin Winkler, Olaf Lampret and Thomas Happe (from left to right) together with Olaf Rüdiger (in the background) from the Max Planck Institute © RUB, Marquard

Protein environment makes catalyst efficient

J. Am. Chem. Soc.: Biocatalysts are large protein molecules. The actual reaction takes place only at a small centrepiece. But the rest also plays a role.

 The interaction of protein shell and active centre in hydrogen-producing enzymes is crucial for the efficiency of biocatalysts. A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr specifically analysed the role of hydrogen bonds in certain enzymes from green algae, the hydrogenases. The groups, which cooperate in the Excellence Cluster Resolv, reported the results in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.