IOCB Prague

Lubomír Rulíšek Group

Theoretical Bioinorganic Chemistry
Research Group
PHYS cluster

About our group

Among the various essential elements in biocatalysis, metalloproteins play a specific role by catalysing reactions that would not occur under physiological conditions. The presence of metal ions is thus crucial for the oxidation/reduction processes, electron transfer, spin-forbidden reactions and ‘difficult reactions’, such as N2, O2, C–H bond cleavage (or formation). These processes are intimately involved in the fundamental elements of life, e.g. respiration and photosynthesis. Enormous efforts, both experimental and theoretical, have been exerted to understand the structure and function of metalloproteins. While experiments (e.g., X-ray crystallography, various spectroscopic techniques, electrochemistry) are crucial in initial phases of our understanding to a particular system, theoretical calculations complement these data by providing a unique one-to-one structure-energy mapping. By correlating experimental and theoretical data, the reaction mechanisms of bioinorganic systems can be elucidated. This not only sheds light on the physicochemical principles (laws) governing the chemical behaviour of bioinorganic systems, but also provides an insight into the phenomena of metal-ion selectivity. Ultimately, we hope to understand the fundamental question: „Why Nature selected particular metal ion(s) to perform specific task(s)?