Overview

The Biochemistry and Bioenergetics of Heme Proteins Research Group is a research team within the Structural Molecular Biology (SMB) Group of UCIBIO-Requimte, Chemistry Department of Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa).

The main goal of our group is to understand the electron transfer chains of microorganisms involved metal reduction, in particularly Geobacter sulfurreducens.

Extracellular electron transfer is one of the physiological hallmarks of Geobacter sulfurreducens, allowing these bacteria to reduce toxic and/or radioactive metals and grow on electrode surfaces in natural habitats.

This ability has inspired the development of new applications for bioenergy production and bioremediation. Examples of such applications include (i) degradation of hydrocarbon contaminants in soils, (ii) reduction of insoluble Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxides, (iii) precipitation of uranium in contaminated aquifers, and (iv) electron transfer on to electrodes, from which electricity can be harvested.

In our study we use a complementary set of tools, ranging from biochemical and molecular biology methodologies to biophysical and spectroscopic techniques.

Proposed model for the extracellular electron transfer pathway to Fe(III) oxides in Geobacter sulfurreducens.