Albicidin Feglymycin
Class II Lanthipeptides
Class III Lanthipeptides

Welcome to the Süssmuth group!

The Süssmuth group currently employs more than 30 scientists from various disciplines, e.g. chemistry, biology and biochemistry. We have a long tradition to solve scientific questions emerging at the interface of chemistry and biology.

Accordingly, our group is divided into two departments: I) biochemistry and II) organic chemistry. The biochemistry department is interested in the discovery of novel bioactive secondary metabolites and in the elucidation of their structure and biosynthesis. These natural products can be synthesized ribosomally (RiPPs) or non-ribosomally (NRPS/PKS), and are thus chemically and functionally very diverse. The study of bioactive compounds includes several aspects like bioinformatics, microbiology, bioactivity screening, isolation and structure elucidation. Hence, our facility is well-equipped with modern analytical instruments, e.g. for LC-MS/MS, GC-MS and NMR spectroscopy. Importantly, full characterization of novel bioactive compounds also requires investigation of the entire biosynthesis apparatus which involves various enzymes of different classes. Therefore we use state-of-the-art techniques of molecular biology, recombinant protein expression and protein purification. Structural and functional characterization of proteins is performed using biophysical methods like isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography as well as biomolecular NMR spectroscopy.

The organic chemistry department is mainly focused on the total synthesis of natural compounds and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies for a rational design of potent future drugs. Another field of interest is the development of new tools in biological chemistry. A large variety of techniques is established in our lab ranging from classical organic solution synthesis to combinatorial synthesis on solid support and peptide synthesis.

It is the integration of all these research fields and the combination of diverse methods that enable us to gain a full picture of newly discovered secondary metabolites, their mode of action and the underlying mechanisms of their biosynthesis machineries. The methodological diversity is what makes research in our group so multifaceted and helps our PhD students to prepare for their later career. If you are interested in our research, have a closer look into the following pages and do not hesitate to contact us.