Annika Frank

Coming from a background in biocatalysis and structural biology, I joined the group in 2014 to work on a number of projects with a focus on biotechnological applications. i) Taking over a highly successful project from Dr. Felix Quitterer on the eludication of the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway, we jointly summarized and published work on the structure and mechanism of its penultimate enzyme, IspG. In collaboration with researchers from the university of Illinois and the King-Abdullah University of Saudi-Arabia (KAUST), our group discovered long elusive intermediates in the conversion of 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclo-diphosphate (MeCPP) into (E)-1-hydroxy-2-methylbut-2-enyl-4-diphosphate (HMBPP). This allowed determination of one of the last unknown mechanisms in the methylerithritolphosphate (MEP)/non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis. ii) Continuing our work in the field, we published a comprehensive review on the MEP pathway of terpenoid biosynthesis in a special edition of Chemical Reviews in 2016. This included detailed descriptions the discovery, structure and mechanisms of all enzymes involved as well as a brief insight into their inhibition in medical and biotechnological applications. iii) In a joint project with TUM junior group leader Dr. Tanja Gulder and her PhD student Catharina Seel (MSc), we further determined the structure of a vanadium-dependent haloperoxidase from the cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina (AmVHPO) in complex with its halogen cofactor. In this fascinating collaborative project we went from gene sequence to structure of a highly stable biocatalyst with remarkable expression levels and great potential for future biotechnological applications.


Groetzinger S., Karan R., Strillinger E., Bader S., Frank A., Al Rowaihi I., Wackerow W., Akal A., Archer J., Rueping M., Weuster-Botz D., Groll M., Eppinger J., Arold S.
Identification and experimental characterization of an extremophilic brine pool alcohol dehydrogenase from single amplified genomes
ACS Chem. Biol., 2018, 13, 161-70, PDF

Schwab A., Illarionov B., Frank A., Kunfermann A., Seet M., Bacher A., Witschel M., Fischer M., Groll M., Diederich F.
Mechanism of Allosteric Inhibition of the Enzyme IspD by Three Different Classes of Ligands
ACS Chem. Biol., 2017, 12, 2132-8, PDF

Frank A., Groll M.
The Methylerythritol Phosphate Pathway to Isoprenoids
Chemical Reviews, 2017, 117, 5675-703, PDF

Frank A., Seel C. J., Groll M., Gulder T.
Characterization of a Cyanobacterial Haloperoxidase and Evaluation of its Biocatalytic Halogenation Potential
ChemBioChem, 2016, 17, 2028-32, PDF

Quitterer F., Frank A., Wang K., Rao G., O'Dowd B., Li J., Guerra F., Abdel-Azeim S., Bacher A., Eppinger J., Oldfield E., Groll M.
Atomic-Resolution Structures of Discrete Stages on the Reaction Coordinate of the [Fe4S4] Enzyme IspG (GcpE)
J. Mol. Biol., 2015, 427, 2220-8, PDF