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Dr. Jacek Kozuch


Department of Physics

Institute of Experimental Physics

Experimental Molecular Biophysics

Arnimallee 14
Room 1.1.35
14195 Berlin

Electrostatic Effects in Biological Processes

I aim at understanding how electrostatic interactions sculpt structural motifs in biological macromolecules and give rise to their unrivalled functionalities. In particular, I am interested in such structures found in enzymatic active sites, ion/proton channel pores as well as complex assemblies within biological membranes.

I explore this question with a particular focus on the mechanisms of evolution towards antimicrobial resistances, which present a major global health issue of today’s world. As such, I have studied the evolution of electrostatic catalysis in antibiotic resistance against β-lactam antibiotics previously. Now, I am extending this concept to the interplay between electrostatic and protonation effects, for instance, in the proton conductance through viral proton channels as part of the Collaborative Research Center 1078 (https://www.sfb1078.de/). Towards this goal I use a multidisciplinary experimental and theoretical approach centered around advanced vibrational spectroscopic approaches.

Publications Under Review

21. J. Kozuch, S. H. Schneider, C. Zheng, Z. Ji, R. T. Bradshaw, S. G. Boxer Testing the limitations of MD-based Local Electric Fields using the Vibrational Stark Effect in Solution: Pencillin G as a Test Case.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

20. J. Kozuch, S. H. Schneider, S. G. Boxer Biosynthetic incorporation of site-specific isotopes in β-lactam antibiotics enables biophysical studies, ACS Chem. Bio., 2020, 15, 1148-1153.

19. U. Szczepaniak, S. H. Schneider, R. Horvath, J. Kozuch, M. Geiser Vibrational Stark spectroscopy of fluorobenzene using quantum cascade laser dual frequency combs, Appl. Spec., 2020, 74, 347-356.

18. A. de Miguel Catalina, E. Forbrig, J. Kozuch, C. Nehls, L. Paulowski, T. Gutsmann, P. Hildebrandt, M. A. Mroginski The C-terminal VPRTES tail of LL-37 influences the mode of attachment to a lipid bilayer and antimicrobial activity, Biochemistry, 2019, 58, 2447-2464.

17. M. Caterino, M. Herrmann, A. Merlino, C. Ricciardi, D. Montesarchio, M. A. Mroginski, D. Musumeci, F. Ruffo, L. Paduano, P. Hildebrandt, J. Kozuch, A. Vergara On the pH-modulated Ru-based pro-drug activation mechanism, Inorg. Chem., 2018, 58, 1216-1223.

16. H. Biava, T. Schreiber, S. Katz, J.-S. Völler, M. Stolarski, C. Schulz, N. Michael, N. Budisa, J. Kozuch, T. Utesch, P. Hildebrandt Long-range modulations of the electric fields in proteins, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2018, 122, 8330-8342.

15. T. G. G. A. Harris, N. Heidary, J. Kozuch, S. Frielingsdorf, O. Lenz, M. A. Mroginski, P. Hildebrandt, I. Zebger, A. Fischer, In situ spectroelectrochemical studies into the formation and stability of robust diazoniumderived interfaces on gold electrodes for the immobilization of an oxygen-tolerant hydrogenase, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10, 23380-23391.

14. O. Gutierrez-Sanz, E. Forbrig, A. P. Batista, M. I. Pereira, J. Salewski, M. A. Mroginski, R. Götz, A. L. De Lacey, J. Kozuch, I. Zebger, Catalytic activity and proton translocation of reconstituted respiratory complex I monitored by surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy, Langmuir, 2018, 34, 57023-5711.

13. P. Kielb, M. Horch, P. Wrzolek, R. Götz, H. K. Ly, J. Kozuch, M. Schwalbe, I. Weidinger, Hydrogen Evolution by cobalt hangman porphyrins under operating conditions studied by vibrational spectro-electrochemistry, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2018, 8, 1849-1857.

12. E. Forbrig, J. K. Staffa, J. Salewski, M. A. Mroginski, P. Hildebrandt, J. Kozuch, Monitoring the orientational changes of alamethicin during incorporation in bilayer lipid membranes, Langmuir, 2018, 34, 2373-2385.

11. J. K. Staffa, L. Lorenz, M. Stolarski, D. H. Murgida, I. Zebger, T. Utesch, J. Kozuch, P. Hildebrandt, Determination of the local electric field at Au/SAM interfaces using the vibrational Stark effect, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2017, 121, 22274-22285.

10. P. Kielb, T. Utesch, J. Kozuch, J.-H. Jeoung, H. Dobbek, M. A. Mroginski, P. Hildebrandt, I. Weidinger, Switchable redox chemistry of the hexameric tyrosine-coordinated heme protein, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2017, 121, 3955-3964.

9. S. Wiebalck, J. Kozuch, C. C. Tzschucke, L. J. C. Jeuken, P. Hildebrandt, Monitoring the transmembrane proton gradient generated by cytochrome bo3 in tethered bilayer lipid membranes using SEIRA spectroscopy, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2016, 120, 22492256.

8. H. K. Ly, P. Wrzolek, N. Heidary, R. Götz, M. Horch, J. Kozuch, M. Schwalbe, I. Weidinger, 2nd coordination sphere controlled electron transfer of iron hangman complexes on rlectrodes probed by surface-enhanced vibrational spectroscopy, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 6999-7007.

7. J. Kozuch, N. Petrusch, D. Gkogkou, U. Gernert, I. M. Weidinger, Calculating average surface-enhancement factors of randomly nanostructured electrodes by a combination of SERS and impedance Spectroscopy, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 21220-21225.

6. J. Kozuch, C. Weichbrodt, D. Millo, K. Giller, S. Becker, P. Hildebrandt, C. Steinem, Voltage-dependent structural changes of the membrane-bound anion channel hVDAC1 probed by SEIRA and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 9546-9555.

5. X. X. Han, C. Köhler, J. Kozuch, U. Kuhlmann, L. Paasche, A. Sivanesan, I. M. Weidinger, P. Hildebrandt, Potential-Dependent surface-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy at nanostructured TiO2: a case study on cytochrome b5, Small, 2013, 9, 4175-4181.

4. J. Kozuch, I. von der Hocht, F. Hilbers, H. Michel, I. M. Weidinger, Resonance Raman Characterization of the ammonia-generated intermediate of cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans. Biochemistry, 2013, 52, 6197-6202.

3. J. Kozuch, C. Steinem, P. Hildebrandt, D. Millo, Combined electrochemistry and surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy of gramicidin A incorporated into tethered bilayer lipid membranes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2012, 51, 8114-8117.

2. A. Sivanesan, J. Kozuch, H. K. Ly, G. Kalaivani, A. Fischer, I. M. Weidinger, Tailored silica coated Ag nanoparticles for non-invasive surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy of biomolecular targets, RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 805-808.

1. A. Sivanesan, H. K. Ly, J. Kozuch, M. Sezer, U. Kuhlmann, A. Fischer, I. M. Weidinger, Functionalized Ag nanoparticles with tunable optical properties for selective protein analysis, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 3553-3555.