Beate Koksch

Beate Koksch

Freie Universität Berlin
 49 (30) 838-55344


Bacterial Life Based on Fluorinated Amino Acids

In a league of its own, fluorine enables us to engineer biopolymers with highly desirable properties. The particular challenge in using it as a tool lies in our ability to juggle the interplay between the specific properties of the fluorinated building block and its responsiveness to the environment it is exposed to. 1, 2

One of our current projects studies the way in which not just biomolecules in the laboratory, but whole living organisms accommodate fluorine. Fluorine incorporation into single proteins via related amino acid analogues has become common practice. However, an essential question remains: Can fluorinated amino acids generally be used to build up biomass or does the presence of large amounts of fluorine in cells render them nonviable? To gain information about the effect of long-term exposure of living cells to fluorine, we constructed an experiment based on bacterial adaptation in artificial fluorinated habitats.

We propagated Escherichia coli, E. coli, in the presence of either 4- or 5-fluoroindole as essential precursors for the in situ synthesis of tryptophan analogues. We illustrate the proteome-wide incorporation of 4- or 5-fluorotryptophane via translation in response to more than 20000 UGG codons in E. coli. Genomic, proteomic and metabolomics analyses reveal that full adaptation requires astonishingly few genetic mutations but is accompanied by large rearrangements in regulatory networks, membrane integrity and quality control of protein folding and this talk will introduce some of our results. 3


F. Agostini, L. Sinn, D. Petras, P. C. Dorrestein, J. Rappsilber, N. Budisa, B. Koksch


Freie Universität Berlin, Institue of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Berlin, Germany


1. A.A. Berger, J.-S. Völler, N. Budisa, B. Koksch. Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50 (9), 2093-2103
2. S. Huhmann, B. Koksch. Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2018, 3667–3679 (VIP)
3. F. Agostini, L. Sinn, D. Petras, P.C. Dorrestein, J. Rappsilber, N. Budisa, B. Koksch. submitted

Lecture Images

Beate Koksch presenting at APS2019 Beate Koksch presenting at APS2019 Beate Koksch presenting at APS2019