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Group Publications
*indicates corresponding author; #equal contribution

Emergence of fractal geometries in the evolution of a metabolic enzyme

Franzizka L. Sendker, Yat Kei Lo, Thomas Heimerl, Stefan Bohn, Louise J. Persson, Christopher-Nils Mais, Wiktoria Sadowska, Nicole Paczia, Eva Nußbaum, María del Carmen Sánchez Olmos, Karl Forchhammer, Daniel Schindler, Tobias J. Erb, Justin L. P. Benesch, Erik G. Marklund, Gert Bange, Jan M. Schuller*, Georg K. A. Hochberg*

Nature 2024

A cyanobacterium enzyme that spontaneously assembles into a pattern known as the Sierpinski triangle. CryoEM and ancestral sequence reconstruction studies indicate that this fractal - the first molecular assembly of its kind that is found in nature - may represent an evolutionary accident.

Molecular architecture and electron transfer pathway of the Stn family transhydrogenase

Anuj Kumar#, Florian Kemp#, Jennifer Roth, Sven A. Freibert, Volker Müller*, Jan M. Schuller*

Nature communications 2023

We present the cryoEM structure of the Stn complex from an acetogenic bacterium. By dissecting its electron transfer pathway, we demonstrate that Stn holds subunits with the structural and funcional role of electron bifurcation, homologous to the electron-bifurcating core of our previously reported hydrogenase complex HydABC. 

A bacterial W-containing aldehyde oxidoreductase forms an enzymatic decorated protein nanowire

Agnieszka Winiarska#, Fidel Ramírez-Amador#, Dominik Hege, Yvonne Gemmecker, Simone Prinz, Georg Hochberg, Johann Heider*, Maciej Szaleniec*, Jan M. Schuller*

Science Advances 2023

This fantastic aldehyde oxidoreductase does not only oxydize a high spectrum of aldehydes or performs the thermodinamically difficult opposite reaction, but it also forms filaments in a similar fashion as the previously reported HDCR.

Molecular Basis of the Electron Bifurcation Mechanism in the [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Complex HydABC

Alexander Katsyv#, Anuj Kumar#, Patricia Saura#, Maximilian C. Pöverlein, Sven A. Freibert, Sven T. Stripp, Surbhi Jain, Ana P. Gamiz-Hernandez, Ville R. I. Kaila*, Volker Müller*, Jan M. Schuller*

JACS 2023

In acetogens, the electron bifurcating hydrogenase generates low potential ferredoxin for respiration and CO2 fixation in a way that differs from classical flavin-based electron-bifurcating enzymes (FBEB). After a tremendous effort with our  collaborators, we validated this novel mechanism by redox-controlled cryoEM reconstructions, molecular simulations and spectroscopy experiments.

Evolution of increased complexity and specificity at the dawn of form I Rubiscos

Luca Schulz, Zhijun Guo, Jan Zarzycki, Wieland Steinchen, Jan M. Schuller, Thomas Heimerl, Simone Prinz, Oliver Mueller-Cajar, Tobias Erb*, Georg K. A. Hochberg*.

Science 2022

Another exciting colaboration with Tobi and Georg's labs regarding the evolution of Rubisco.


Membrane-anchored HDCR nanowires drive hidrogen-powered CO2 fixation

Helge Dietrich#, Ricardo D. Righetto#, Anuj Kumar, Wojciech Wietrzynski, Raphael Trischler, Sandra K. Schuller, Jonathan Wagner, Fabian M. Schwarz, Benjamin D. Engel*, Volker Müller*, Jan M. Schuller*

Nature 2022

Electron highway for hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage discovered

Together with researchers from Frankfurt and Basel, we have shed light on the structure of an enzyme that produces formic acid from molecular hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The filamentous structure of the enzyme, now described at atomic level for the first time, acts like a nanowire and is evidently responsible for the extremely efficient conversion rates of the two gases. There is no other enzyme reported that converts CO2 to formate with a turnover rate even close to HDCR.

Structure-based electron-confurcation mechanism of the Ldh-EtfAB complex

Kanwal Kayastha, Alexander Katsyv, Christina Himmrich, Sonja Welsch, Jan M. Schuller, Ulrich Ermler*, Volker Müller*

eLife 2022

The first electron-confurcating reaction structurally studied


A high-resolution cryoEM structure of the lactate dehydrogenase-electron transferring flavoprotein complex (Ldh-EtfAB) from an acetogen was obtained. On this basis, a catalytic mechanism of the flavin-based electron confurcation (FBEC) process has been proposed.

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Structural basis for VIPP1 oligomerization and maintenance of thylakoid membrane integrity

Tilak Kumar Gupta#, Sven Klumpe#, Karin Gries#, Steffen Heinz#, Wojciech Wietrzynski#, Norikazu Ohnishi, Justus Niemeyer, Benjamin Spaniol, Miroslava Schaffer, Anna Rast, Matthias Ostermeier, Mike Strauss, Jürgen M. Plitzko, Wolfgang Baumeister, Till Rudack, Wataru Sakamoto, Jörg Nickelsen, Jan M. Schuller*, Michael Schroda*, Benjamin D. Engel*

Cell 2021

The molecular machine that forms the membranes of life!​

In an amazing 6-lab cooperation we managed to determine the structure and mechanism of the major thylakoid membrane biogenesis factor VIPP1. Our work shows how this green ESCRT-III oligomer mediates membrane remodelling and repair


Structural insights into photosystem II assembly

Jure Zabret#, Stefan Bohn#, Sandra K Schuller, Oliver Arnolds, Madeline Möller, Jakob Meier-Credo, Pasqual Liauw, Aaron Chan, Emad Tajkhorshid, Julian D Langer, Raphael Stoll, Anja Krieger-Liszkay, Benjamin D Engel, Till Rudack*, Jan M Schuller*, Marc M Nowaczyk*

Nature Plants 2021

How to build a molecular water splitting machine?

The first structural information on the biogenesis of PSII. We trapped the attachment of the CP43 light harvesting module and determined the high-resolution structure of it. Our work answers how a not yet fully assembled, but already partially active molecular machine is protected from photo damage. Great cooperation with our friends in the Nowaczyk lab. Our future work on this topic is supported by the Walter Benz foundation.


We could contribute the structure of the artifical enzyme glycolyl-CoA carboxylase (GCC), a new-to-nature enzyme to this exciting study by Tobi's lab.

A new-to-nature carboxylation module to improve natural and synthetic CO2 fixation

Marieke Scheffen, Daniel G Marchal, Thomas Beneyton, Sandra K Schuller, Melanie Klose, Christoph Diehl, Jessica Lehmann, Pascal Pfister, Martina Carrillo, Hai He, Selçuk Aslan, Niña S Cortina, Peter Claus, Daniel Bollschweiler, Jean-Christophe Baret, Jan M Schuller, Jan Zarzycki, Arren Bar-Even, Tobias J Erb.

Nature Catalysis 2021

Redox-coupled proton pumping drives carbon concentration in the photosynthetic complex I

Jan M Schuller*#, Patricia Saura#, Jacqueline Thiemann#, Sandra K Schuller, Ana P Gamiz-Hernandez, Genji Kurisu, Marc M Nowaczyk*, Ville RI Kaila*

Nature Communications 2020


Direct visualization of degradation microcompartments at the ER membrane

Sahradha Albert, Wojciech Wietrzynski, Chia-Wei Lee, Miroslava Schaffer, Florian Beck, Jan M Schuller, Patrice A Salomé, Jürgen M Plitzko, Wolfgang Baumeister, Benjamin D Engel

PNAS 2020

Structural adaptations of photosynthetic complex I enable ferredoxin-dependent electron transfer

Jan M Schuller*, James A Birrell, Hideaki Tanaka, Tsuyoshi Konuma, Hannes Wulfhorst, Nicholas Cox, Sandra K Schuller, Jacqueline Thiemann, Wolfgang Lubitz, Pierre Sétif, Takahisa Ikegami, Benjamin D Engel, Genji Kurisu*, Marc M Nowaczyk*

Science 2019

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