Prof. Dr. Kai Tittmann

Professor of Molecular Enzymology

  • Since 2014 Professor of Molecular Enzymology, Georg-August-University, Göttingen (Germany)
  • 2008-2014 Professor of Bioanalytics, Georg-August-University, Göttingen (Germany)
  • 2006 Associate Guest Professor, Ben-Gurion-University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, IL
  • 2003 Invited Research Scientist at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA
  • 2003-2008 Jun.-Prof. of Molecular Enzymology, Institute for Biochemistry, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, (Germany)
  • 2001-2002 Postdoc, Institute for Biochemistry, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale (Germany)
  • 2000 Dr. rer. nat., Martin-Luther-University, Halle/Saale (Germany)
  • 1996 Diploma (Biochemistry), Martin-Luther-University, Halle/Saale (Germany)

  • Awards

  • 2014 Peter Yates Lecture, University of Toronto
  • 2005 Prize for excellent basic research at Saxony-Anhalt
  • 2001 Dorothea-Erxleben-Prize (best doctoral thesis)

  • Major Research Interests

    The central research topic of our department is the analysis of molecular reaction mechanisms of enzymes as nature's chemical catalysts. In this context, we study enzymes with vitamin-derived cofactors, with metal ions, and Schiff base-forming enzymes. A particular focus is laid on the structural and kinetic characterization of enzymatic reaction intermediates by high-resolution X-ray crystallography, steady-state and transient kinetic methods, NMR spectroscopy and theoretical studies. Knowledge about the reaction mechanism is exploited to redesign enzymes for biocatalytic applications and for drug design.

    Homepage Department/Research Group:

    Selected Recent Publications

  • Rabe von Pappenheim F, Aldeghi M, Shome B, Begley T, de Groot BL, Tittmann K (2020) Structural basis for antibiotic action of the B1 antivitamin 2’-methoxy-thiamine. Nature Chem Biol, in press
  • Singh K, Graf B, Linden A, Sautner V, Urlaub H, Tittmann K, Stark H, Chari A (2020) Discovery of a regulatory subunit of the yeast fatty acid synthase. Cell 180: 1130-1143
  • Dai S, Funk LM, von Pappenheim FR, Sautner V, Paulikat M, Schröder B, Uranga J, Mata RA, Tittmann K (2019) Low-barrier hydrogen bonds in enzyme cooperativity. Nature 573: 609–613
  • Lüdtke S, Neumann P, Erixon KM, Leeper F, Kluger R, Ficner R, Tittmann K (2013) Sub-Angström resolution crystallography reveals physical distortions that enhance reactivity of a covalent enzymatic intermediate. Nature Chem 5: 762?767
  • Meyer D, Neumann P, Ficner R, Tittmann K (2013) Observation of a stable carbene at the active site of a thiamin enzyme.
    Nature Chem Biol 9: 488-490
  • Meyer D, Neumann P, Koers E, Sjuts H, Lüdtke S, Sheldrick, GM, Ficner R, Tittmann K (2012) Unexpected tautomeric equilibria of the carbanion-enamine intermediate in pyruvate oxidase highlight unrecognized chemical versatility of the thiamin cofactor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(27): 10867-72
  • Lehwess-Litzmann A, Neumann P, Parthier C, Lüdtke S, Golbik R, Ficner R, Tittmann K (2011) Twisted Schiff-base Intermediates and Substrate Locale Revise Transaldolase Mechanism. Nature Chem Biol 7: 678-684
  • Meyer D, Walter L, Kolter G, Pohl M, Müller M, Tittmann K (2011) Conversion of pyruvate decarboxylase into an enantioselective carboligase with biosynthetic potential. J Am Chem Soc 133: 3609-3616
  • Kaplun A, Binstein E, Vyazmensky M, Steinmetz A, Barak Z., Chipman DM, Tittmann K, Shaanan B (2008) Glyoxylate carboligase challenges the paradigm for activation of thiamin-dependent enzymes. Nature Chem Biol 4: 113-118
  • Wille G, Meyer D, Steinmetz A, Hinze E, Golbik R, Tittmann K (2006) The catalytic cycle of a thiamin diphosphate enzyme examined by cryocrystallography. Nature Chem Biol 2: 324-328