Biography

ResearcherID profile.

Julea is Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at UEA. Her research elucidates properties of electron transfer proteins relevant to their roles within living organisms and that underpin their rational use in biotechnologies. A range of methods are employed, from molecular biology through to biophysical characterisation with a particular focus on the application of voltammetric, potentiometric and spectroscopic methods. Previously, Julea pioneered the study of adsorbed electroactive proteins for novel perspectives of their biochemistry with Professor Fraser Armstrong, FRS (University of Oxford). This approach, adopted by groups around the world, has become known as protein-film electrochemistry (PFE). In recognition of her achievements Julea received the inaugural Young Investigator Medal from the British Biophysical Society and a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship in 2015.

Julea contributes to teaching in the Schools of Chemistry and Biological Sciences through lectures, seminars and laboratory classes with a focus on topics in biochemistry, reaction kinetics, spectroscopy, electrochemistry and protein structure. She was Deputy Head of the School of Chemistry (2011-2015), Associate Dean for Post-Graduate Research in the Faculty of Science (2011-2014), Director of the Biochemistry Degree Programmes (2006-2011) and a member of the team that launched the School of Pharmacy at UEA.

Enquiries from potential postgraduate and post-doctoral scientists interested in our lab are always welcome (j.butt@uea.ac.uk). Studentship and employment opportunities will be advertised via the usual channels and UEA website. Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Chemistry and Biology.

Recent Publications

Photoreduction of Shewanella oneidensis extracellular cytochromes by organic chromophores and dye-sensitized TiO2.
Ainsworth EV, Lockwood CWJ, White GF, Hwang E, Sakai T, Gross M, Richardson DJ, Clarke TA, Jeuken LJC, Reisner E, Butt JN.
ChemBioChem (2016) 17:2324-2333  Selected as Front Cover

Electron Accepting Units of the Diheme Cytochrome c TsdA, a Bifunctional Thiosulfate Dehydrogenase/Tetrathionate Reductase.
Kurth JM, Brito JA, Reuter J, Flegler A, Koch T, Franke T, Klein E-M, Rowe SF, Butt JN, Denkmann, Pereira I, Archer M, Dahl C.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2016) 291:24804-24818  Selected as Paper of the Week

A decahaem cytochrome as an electron conduit in protein-enzyme redox processes.
Lee C, Reuillard B, Sokol K, Laftsoglou T, Lockwood C, Rowe S, Hwang ET, Fontecilla-Camps J, Jeuken LJC, Butt JN, Reisner E.
Chemical Communications (2016) 52: 7390-7390.

Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Supported Lipid Bilayer Poly-L-Lysine Multilayers.
Heath G, Li M, Polignano I, Richens J, Catucci G, O'Shea P, Sadeghi S, Gilardi G, Butt JN, Jeuken LJC
Biomacromolecules (2016) 17:324-335

Catalytic protein film electrochemistry provides a direct measure of the tetrathionate/thiosulfate reduction potential.
Kurth JM, Dahl C, Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:13232-13235

Resolution of key roles for the distal pocket histidine in cytochrome c nitrite reductases.
Lockwood CWJ, Burlat B, Cheesman MR, Kern M, Simon J, Clarke TA, Richardson DJ and Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:3059-3068

A decaheme cytochrome as a molecular electron conduit in dye-sensitized photoanodes.
Hwang E, Sheikh K, Orchard K, Hojo D, Radu V, Lee C-Y, Ainsworth EV, Lockwood CWJ, Gross M, Adschiri T, Reisner E, Butt JN and Jeuken LJC.
Advanced Functional Materials (2015) 25:2308-2315 

Multi-haem cytochromes in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1: structures, functions and opportunities.
Breuer M, Rosso KM, Blumberger J and Butt JN.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2015) 20141117

 

Career History

  • Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow 09/2015 to 09/2016
  • Professor of Biophysical Chemistry, University of East Anglia 09/2010 - present
  • Reader, University of East Anglia 09/2004 to 08/2010
  • Lecturer, University of East Anglia 09/2001 to 08/2004
  • Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow, University of East Anglia 09/1997 to 08/2001
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Wageningen, NL 05/1995 to 07/1997
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health, USA 09/1993 to 03/1995
  • PhD, University of California Irvine, USA 1993
  • BA Natural Science - Chemistry, First Class Honours with Distinction in Quantum Mechanics, University of Oxford, 1989

All Publications

<- Page 1 of 5 ->

Davies, J. A., Clarke, T. A., Butt, J. N.

(2017)

Making Connections: An Amphiphilic Ferrocene Stimulates Bacterial Electricity Production,

in Chem

2

(2)

pp. 164-167

Full Text

(Comment/debate)

(Published)


Reuillard, B., H. Ly, K., Hildebrandt, P., Jeuken, L. J. C., Butt, J. N., Reisner, E.

(2017)

High Performance Reduction of H2O2 with an Electron Transport Decaheme Cytochrome on a Porous ITO Electrode,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

139

(9)

pp. 3324–3327

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Heath, G. R., Li, M., Rong, H., Radu, V., Frielingsdorf, S., Lenz, O., Butt, J. N., Jeuken, L. J. C.

(2017)

Multilayered lipid membrane stacks for biocatalysis using membrane enzymes,

in Advanced Functional Materials

27

(17)

article no. 1606265

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hwang, E. T., Orchard, K., Hojo, D., Beton, J., Lockwood, C. W., Adschiri, T., Butt, J. N., Reisner, E., Jeuken, L. J.

(2017)

Exploring step-by-step assembly of nanoparticle:cytochrome biohybrid photoanodes,

in ChemElectroChem

4

(8)

pp. 1959–1968

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Edwards, M. J., Gates, A. J., Butt, J. N., Richardson, D. J., Clarke, T. A.

(2017)

Comparative Structure-Potentio-Spectroscopy of the Shewanella Outer Membrane Multiheme Cytochromes,

in Current Opinion in Electrochemistry

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(E-pub ahead of print)


Heath, G. R., Li, M., Polignano, I. L., Richens, J., Catucci, G., O'Shea, P., Sadeghi, S. J., Gilardi, G., Butt, J., Jeuken, L. J. C.

(2016)

Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Supported Lipid Bilayer Poly-l-Lysine Multilayers,

in Biomacromolecules

17

(1)

pp. 324-335

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


White, G. F., Edwards, M. J., Gomez-Perez, L., Richardson, D. J., Butt, J. N., Clarke, T. A.

(2016)

Mechanisms of Bacterial Extracellular Electron Exchange.,

in Advances in Microbial Physiology : Advances in Bacterial Electron Transport Systems and Their Regulation.

Elsevier

pp. 87-138

ISBN 978-0-12-804822-1

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lee, C., Reuillard, B., Sokol, K., Laftsoglou, T., Lockwood, C., Rowe, S., Hwang, E. T., Fontecilla-Camps, J., Jeuken, L., Butt, J., Reisner, E.

(2016)

A decahaem cytochrome as an electron conduit in protein-enzyme redox processes,

in Chemical Communications

52

(46)

pp. 7390-7390

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Maalcke, W. J., Reimann, J., de Vries, S., Butt, J. N., Dietl, A., Kip, N., Mersdorf, U., Barends, T. R. M., Jetten, M. S. M., Keltjens, J. T., Kartal, B.

(2016)

Characterization of anammox hydrazine dehydrogenase, a key N2-producing enzyme in the global nitrogen cycle,

in Journal of Biological Chemistry

291

(33)

pp. 17077-17092

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Davies, J., Clarke, T., Butt, J., Richardson, D.

(2016)

Carbon fixation via the formate dehydrogenases of Shewanella,

in New Biotechnology

33

pp. S110

Full Text

(Abstract)

(Published)


Ainsworth, E. V., Lockwood, C. W. J., White, G. F., Hwang, E. T., Sakai, T., Gross, M. A., Richardson, D. J., Clarke, T. A., Jeuken, L. J. C., Reisner, E., Butt, J. N.

(2016)

Photoreduction of Shewanella oneidensis Extracellular Cytochromes by Organic Chromophores and Dye-Sensitized TiO2,

in ChemBioChem

17

(24)

pp. 2324–2333

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kurth, J. M., Brito, J. A., Reuter, J., Flegler, A., Koch, T., Franke, T., Klein, E., Rowe, S. F., Butt, J. N., Denkmann, K., Pereira, I. A., Archer, M., Dahl, C.

(2016)

Electron Accepting Units of the Diheme Cytochrome c TsdA, a Bifunctional Thiosulfate Dehydrogenase/Tetrathionate Reductase,

in Journal of Biological Chemistry

291

pp. 24804-24818

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kurth, J. M., Butt, J. N., Kelly, D. J., Dahl, C.

(2016)

Influence of haem environment on the catalytic properties of the tetrathionate reductase TsdA from Campylobacter jejuni,

in Bioscience Reports

36

(6)

article no. e00422

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hutton, G. A. M., Reuillard, B., Martindale, B. C. M., Caputo, C. A., Lockwood, C. W. J., Butt, J. N., Reisner, E.

(2016)

Carbon dots as versatile photosensitizers for solar-driven catalysis with redox enzymes,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

138

(51)

pp. 16722–16730

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Breuer, M., Rosso, K., Blumberger, J., Butt, J.

(2015)

Multi-heme Cytochromes in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1: Structures, functions and opportunities,

in Journal of The Royal Society Interface

12

(102)

article no. 20141117

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lockwood, C., Burlat, B., Cheesman, M., Kern, M., Simon, J., Clarke, T., Richardson, D., Butt, J.

(2015)

Resolution of Key Roles for the Distal Pocket Histidine in Cytochrome c Nitrite Reductases,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

137

(8)

pp. 3059–3068

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hwang, E. T., Sheikh, K., Orchard, K., Hojo, D., Radu, V., Lee, C., Ainsworth, E., Lockwood, C., Gross, M., Adschiri, T., Reisner, E., Butt, J., Jeuken, L. J. C.

(2015)

A Decaheme Cytochrome as a Molecular Electron Conduit in Dye-Sensitized Photoanodes,

in Advanced Functional Materials

25

(15)

pp. 2308–2315

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Beckwith, C., Edwards, M., Lawes, M., Shi, L., Butt, J., Richardson, D., Clarke, T.

(2015)

Characterisation of MtoD from Sideroxydans lithotrophicus: a cytochrome c electron shuttle used in lithoautotrophic growth,

in Frontiers in Microbiology

6

article no. 332

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Pergolizzi, G., Cominetti, M., Butt, J. N., Field, R. A., Bowater, R., Wagner, G. K.

(2015)

Base-modified NAD and AMP derivatives and their activity against bacterial DNA ligases,

in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

13

pp. 6380-6398

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Edwards, M., White, G., Norman, M., Tome-Fernandez, A., Ainsworth, E., Shi, L., Fredrickson, J., Zachara, J., Butt, J., Richardson, D., Clarke, T.

(2015)

Redox linked flavin sites in extracellular decaheme proteins involved in microbe-mineral electron transfer,

in Scientific Reports

5

article no. 11677

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


<- Page 1 of 5 ->

Key Research Interests


Julea's research focusses on electron transfer (redox) proteins. A suite of electrochemical and spectroscopic methods are employed to reveal properties of purified proteins and their contributions to cellular function. The information obtained provides greater insight into the cellular roles of the redox proteins and informs their exploitation in biotechnologies. Much of our present work involves the multiheme cytochromes that underpin biogeochemical sulfur and nitrogen cycling and extracellular electron transfer in Shewanella oneidensis. You can read more about these projects below.

Enquiries from potential postgraduate and post-doctoral scientists interested in our lab are always welcome (j.butt@uea.ac.uk). Studentship and employment opportunities will be advertised via the usual channels and UEA website. Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Chemistry and Biology.

 

Research Group

Julea's research group image

Post-Doctoral Research Associates
Tony Blake
Jessica van Wonderen

PhD Students
Leon Jenner
Sam Piper
Sam Rowe

Research Technician
Simone Payne

Project Students
Emmanuel Agu
Jack Anderton

 

Advancing Biotechnologies for Solar-Microbial Fuel Production

Many renewable energy supplies, such as sunlight, remain largely untapped resources due to the challenges that exist in converting these energy forms into fuels from which energy can be released on demand. During natural plant photosynthesis, fuels are made from the energy in sunlight. Light is absorbed by the green chlorophyll pigments to generate an energised electron that is directed, along chains of metal centres, to catalysts that produce sugars. Taking inspiration from such processes, we are seeking to develop synthetic biology that will allow for artificial photosynthesis in the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.  Read more on page 14 of the UEA 50Th Anniversary Souvenir Magazine.

Collaborators: David J. Richardson and Tom Clarke (UEA), Erwin Reisner (Cambridge), Lars Jeuken (Leeds).

Highlight Publications:

Photoreduction of Shewanella oneidensis extracellular cytochromes by organic chromophores and dye-sensitized TiO2.
Ainsworth EV, Lockwood CWJ, White GF, Hwang E, Sakai T, Gross M, Richardson DJ, Clarke TA, Jeuken LJC, Reisner E, Butt JN.
ChemBioChem (2016) 17:2324-2333  Selected for Front Cover


Carbon dots as versatile photosensitizers for solar-driven catalysis with redox enzymes.
Hutton GAM, Reuillard B, Martindale BCM, Caputo CA, Lockwood CWJ, Butt JN, Reisner E.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2016) in press

 

A decaheme cytochrome as a molecular electron conduit in dye-sensitized photoanodes.
Hwang E, Sheikh K, Orchard K, Hojo D, Radu V, Lee C-Y, Ainsworth EV, Lockwood CWJ, Gross M, Adschiri T, Reisner E, Butt JN and Jeuken LJC.
Advanced Functional Materials (2015) 25:2308-2315

 

Microbial Mineral Respiration

There is much interest in ‘rock-breathing’ bacteria. The mechanism by which these microbes couple the generation of a proton-motive force across the cytoplasmic membrane to the reduction of minerals, located outside the cell, has yet to be fully elucidated. From a biotechnological perspective, it is of interest to understand how best to substitute extra-cellular minerals with electrodes for effective utilisation of these bacteria such as Shewanella species in mediatorless microbial fuel cells and for microbial electrosynthesis. Protein film voltammetry (see below) is being complemented with contemporary biochemistry to study multi-heme cytochromes key to the respiratory reduction of extracellular mineral oxides and electrodes by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.

View the lecture on Multi-heme cytochromes here.

Collaborators: David J. Richardson and Tom Clarke (UEA), Lars Jeuken (University of Leeds), Jochen Blumberger (University College London), Jim Fredrickson and Liang Shi (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USE).

Highlight Publications

Multi-haem cytochromes in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1: structures, functions and opportunities.
Breuer M, Rosso KM, Blumberger J and Butt JN.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2015) 20141117

Redox linked flavin sites in extracellular decaheme proteins involved in microbe-mineral electron transfer.
Edwards MJ, White GF, Norman M, Tome-Fernandez A, Ainsworth EV, Shi L, Fredrickson JF, Zachara JM, Butt JN, Richardson DJ and Clarke TA.
Scientific Reports (2015) 5 Article Number11677

 

Enzymology of the Sulfur and Nitrogen Cycles

Microbes exploit redox transformations of inorganic nitrogen species to support aerobic and anaerobic respiration, to allow nitrogen assimilation into amino acids and nucleotides and to defend against cytotoxins such as nitric oxide. Protein film voltammetry has resolved the windows of electrochemical potential over which enzymes reducing nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide and/or hydroxylamine are active. Present research aims to understand the origin of these properties at the molecular level and their contribution to cellular function by site specific protein engineering, spectroscopy and cellular studies.

Collaborators: David J. Richardson and Tom Clarke (UEA), Christiane Dahl (University of Bonn)

Highlight Publications

Electron Accepting Units of the Diheme Cytochrome c TsdA, a Bifunctional Thiosulfate Dehydrogenase/Tetrathionate Reductase.
Kurth JM, Brito JA, Reuter J, Flegler A, Koch T, Franke T, Klein E-M, Rowe SF, Butt JN, Denkmann, Pereira I, Archer M, Dahl C.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2016) 291:24804-24818  Selected as Paper of the Week

Catalytic protein film electrochemistry provides a direct measure of the tetrathionate/thiosulfate reduction potential.
Kurth JM, Dahl C, Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:13232-13235

Resolution of key roles for the distal pocket histidine in cytochrome c nitrite reductases.
Lockwood CWJ, Burlat B, Cheesman MR, Kern M, Simon J, Clarke TA, Richardson DJ and Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:3059-3068

 

Fresh Approaches to Spectroelectrochemistry and the Application of Protein Film Voltammetry

Dynamic electrochemistry provides a powerful tool to characterise redox proteins and enzymes. Electron transfer and any associated chemical events are visualised in real-time by the flow of electrical current observed when electrons are exchanged between a protein and an electrode of known and variable potential. In particular, protein film electrochemistry allows the measurement of both thermodynamic (redox potentials and affinities for protons and/or other ligands) and kinetic (steady-state catalysis) properties. In this technique, the protein of interest is adsorbed as an electro-active monolayer film on an electrode surface. Collaborations with multiple research groups have led to the development of electrochemistry performed in parallel with electronic absorbance, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and magnetic circular dichroism to provide simultaneous chemical insight into the redox driven events.

Collaborators: Myles Cheesman (UEA)

Highlight Publications

Catalytic protein film electrochemistry provides a direct measure of the tetrathionate/thiosulfate reduction potential.
Kurth JM, Dahl C, Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:13232-13235

Resolution of key roles for the distal pocket histidine in cytochrome c nitrite reductases.
Lockwood CWJ, Burlat B, Cheesman MR, Kern M, Simon J, Clarke TA, Richardson DJ and Butt JN.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (2015) 137:3059-3068