Carbon dioxide reduction to methane and coupling with acetylene to form propylene catalyzed by remodeled nitrogenase.
ABSTRACT: A doubly substituted form of the nitrogenase MoFe protein (?-70(Val)(?Ala), ?-195(His?Gln)) has the capacity to catalyze the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) to yield methane (CH(4)). Under optimized conditions, 1 nmol of the substituted MoFe protein catalyzes the formation of 21 nmol of CH(4) within 20 min. The catalytic rate depends on the partial pressure of CO(2) (or concentration of HCO(3)(-)) and the electron flux through nitrogenase. The doubly substituted MoFe protein also has the capacity to catalyze the unprecedented formation of propylene (H(2)C = CH-CH(3)) through the reductive coupling of CO(2) and acetylene (HC?CH). In light of these observations, we suggest that an emerging understanding of the mechanistic features of nitrogenase could be relevant to the design of synthetic catalysts for CO(2) sequestration and formation of olefins.
Project description:The electron flux through the MoFe-protein of nitrogenase from Klebsiella pneumoniae determines the absolute and relative rates of 2H+ reduction to H2 and acetylene (C2H2) reduction to ethylene (C2H4) at saturating levels of reductant (Na2S2O4) and MgATP. High electron flux, induced by a high Fe-protein (Kp2)/MoFe protein (Kp1) ratio, favours C2H2 reduction. These data can be explained if ethylene, the two-electron reduction product of C2H2, is not released until three electrons have been transferred from Kp2 to Kp1. This explanation is also consistent with a pre-steady-state lag phase for C2H4 formation of 250 ms observed when functioning enzyme is quenched with acid. Electron flux through nitrogenase is inhibited by C2H2 at high protein concentrations. This is because the association rate between Kp1 and oxidized Kp2 is enhanced by C2H2, leading to an increased steady-state concentration of the inhibitory complex Kp2oxKp1C2H2. This effect is not relieved by CO. Thus CO and C2H2 (or C2H4) must be bound at the same time to distinct sites, presumably at Mo or Fe centres, on the enzyme.
Project description:We report an organic redox-polymer-based electroenzymatic nitrogen fixation system using a metal-free redox polymer, namely neutral-red-modified poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-methylmethacrylate-co-poly(ethyleneglycol)methacrylate) with a low redox potential of -0.58?V vs. SCE. The stable and efficient electric wiring of nitrogenase within the redox polymer matrix enables mediated bioelectrocatalysis of N3 - , NO2 - and N2 to NH3 catalyzed by the MoFe protein via the polymer-bound redox moieties distributed in the polymer matrix in the absence of the Fe protein. Bulk bioelectrosynthetic experiments produced 209±30?nmol?NH3 ?nmol?MoFe-1 ?h-1 from N2 reduction. 15 N2 labeling experiments and NMR analysis were performed to confirm biosynthetic N2 reduction to NH3 .
Project description:The reduction of N2 to NH3 by Mo-dependent nitrogenase at its active-site metal cluster FeMo-cofactor utilizes reductive elimination of Fe-bound hydrides with obligatory loss of H2 to activate the enzyme for binding/reduction of N2. Earlier work showed that wild-type nitrogenase and a nitrogenase with amino acid substitutions in the MoFe protein near FeMo-cofactor can catalytically reduce CO2 by two or eight electrons/protons to carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) at low rates. Here, it is demonstrated that nitrogenase preferentially reduces CO2 by two electrons/protons to formate (HCOO(-)) at rates >10 times higher than rates of CO2 reduction to CO and CH4. Quantum mechanical calculations on the doubly reduced FeMo-cofactor with a Fe-bound hydride and S-bound proton (E2(2H) state) favor a direct reaction of CO2 with the hydride ("direct hydride transfer" reaction pathway), with facile hydride transfer to CO2 yielding formate. In contrast, a significant barrier is observed for reaction of Fe-bound CO2 with the hydride ("associative" reaction pathway), which leads to CO and CH4. Remarkably, in the direct hydride transfer pathway, the Fe-H behaves as a hydridic hydrogen, whereas in the associative pathway it acts as a protic hydrogen. MoFe proteins with amino acid substitutions near FeMo-cofactor (?-70(Val?Ala), ?-195(His?Gln)) are found to significantly alter the distribution of products between formate and CO/CH4.
Project description:1. The vanadium (V-) nitrogenase of Azobacter chroococcum transfers up to 7.4% of the electrons used in acetylene (C2H2) reduction for the formation of ethane (C2H6). The apparent Km for C2H2 (6 kPa) is the same for either ethylene (C2H4) or ethane (C2H6) formation and much higher than the reported Km values for C2H2 reduction to C2H4 by molybdenum (Mo-) nitrogenases. Reduction of C2H2 in 2H2O yields predominantly [cis-2H2]ethylene. 2. The ratio of electron flux yielding C2H6 to that yielding C2H4 (the C2H6/C2H4 ratio) is increased by raising the ratio of Fe protein to VFe protein and by increasing the assay temperature up to at least 40 degrees C. pH values above 7.5 decrease the C2H6/C2H4 ratio. 3. C2H4 and C2H6 formation from C2H2 by V-nitrogenase are not inhibited by H2. CO inhibits both processes much less strongly than it inhibits C2H4 formation from C2H2 with Mo-nitrogenase. 4. Although V-nitrogenase also catalyses the slow CO-sensitive reduction of C2H4 to C2H6, free C2H4 is not an intermediate in C2H6 formation from C2H2. 5. Propyne (CH3C identical to CH) is not reduced by the V-nitrogenase. 6. Some implications of these results for the mechanism of C2H6 formation by the V-nitrogenase are discussed.
Project description:In a small-scale reaction, vanadium-dependent nitrogenase has previously been shown to catalyze reductive catenation of carbon monoxide (CO) to ethylene, ethane, propylene, and propane. Here, we report the identification of additional hydrocarbon products [?-butylene, n-butane, and methane (CH(4))] in a scaled-up reaction featuring 20 milligrams of vanadium-iron protein, the catalytic component of vanadium nitrogenase. Additionally, we show that the more common molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase can generate the same hydrocarbons from CO, although CH(4) was not detected. The identification of CO as a substrate for both molybdenum- and vanadium-nitrogenases strengthens the hypothesis that CO reduction is an evolutionary relic of the function of the nitrogenase family. Moreover, the comparison between the CO-reducing capacities of the two nitrogenases suggests that the identity of heterometal at the active cofactor site affects the efficiency and product distribution of this reaction.
Project description:When the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) was extracted from the MoFe protein of nitrogenase from a nifV mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae and combined with the FeMoco-deficient MoFe protein from a nifB mutant, the resultant MoFe protein exhibited the NifV phenotype, i.e. in combination with wild-type Fe protein it exhibited poor N2-fixation activity and its H2-evolution activity was inhibited by CO. These data provide strong evidence that FeMoco contains the active site of nitrogenase. The metal contents and e.p.r. properties of FeMoco from wild-type and nifV mutants of K. pneumoniae are very similar.
Project description:Nitrogenase catalyzes the sequential addition of six electrons and six protons to a N2 that is bound to the active site metal cluster FeMo-cofactor, yielding two ammonia molecules. The nature of the intermediates bound to FeMo-cofactor along this reduction pathway remains unknown, although it has been suggested that there are intermediates at the level of reduction of diazene (HN=NH, also called diimide) and hydrazine (H2N-NH2). Through in situ generation of diazene during nitrogenase turnover, we show that diazene is a substrate for the wild-type nitrogenase and is reduced to NH3. Diazene reduction, like N2 reduction, is inhibited by H2. This contrasts with the absence of H2 inhibition when nitrogenase reduces hydrazine. These results support the existence of an intermediate early in the N2 reduction pathway at the level of reduction of diazene. Freeze-quenching a MoFe protein variant with alpha-195His substituted by Gln and alpha-70Val substituted by Ala during steady-state turnover with diazene resulted in conversion of the S = 3/2 resting state FeMo-cofactor to a novel S = 1/2 state with g1 = 2.09, g2 = 2.01, and g3 approximately 1.98. 15N- and 1H-ENDOR establish that this state consists of a diazene-derived [-NHx] moiety bound to FeMo-cofactor. This moiety is indistinguishable from the hydrazine-derived [-NHx] moiety bound to FeMo-cofactor when the same MoFe protein is trapped during turnover with hydrazine. These observations suggest that diazene joins the normal N2-reduction pathway, and that the diazene- and hydrazine-trapped turnover states represent the same intermediate in the normal reduction of N2 by nitrogenase. Implications of these findings for the mechanism of N2 reduction by nitrogenase are discussed.
Project description:NifEN is a key player in the biosynthesis of nitrogenase MoFe protein. It not only shares a considerable degree of sequence homology with the MoFe protein, but also contains clusters that are homologous to those found in the MoFe protein. Here we present an investigation of the catalytic activities of NifEN. Our data show that NifEN is catalytically competent in acetylene (C(2)H(2)) and azide (N(3)(-)) reduction, yet unable to reduce dinitrogen (N(2)) or evolve hydrogen (H(2)). Upon turnover, C(2)H(2) gives rise to an additional S = 1/2 signal, whereas N(3)(-) perturbs the signal originating from the NifEN-associated FeMoco homolog. Combined biochemical and spectroscopic studies reveal that N(3)(-) can act as either an inhibitor or an activator for the binding and/or reduction of C(2)H(2), while carbon monoxide (CO) is a potent inhibitor for the binding and/or reduction of both N(3)(-) and C(2)H(2). Taken together, our results suggest that NifEN is a catalytic homolog of MoFe protein; however, it is only a "skeleton" version of the MoFe protein, as its associated clusters are simpler in structure and less versatile in function, which, in turn, may account for its narrower range of substrates and lower activities of substrate reduction. The resemblance of NifEN to MoFe protein in catalysis points to a plausible, sequential appearance of the two proteins in nitrogenase evolution. More importantly, the discrepancy between the two systems may provide useful insights into nitrogenase mechanism and allow reconstruction of a fully functional nitrogenase from the "skeleton" enzyme, NifEN.
Project description:Nitrogen-fixing bacteria catalyze the reduction of dinitrogen (N(2)) to two ammonia molecules (NH(3)), the major contribution of fixed nitrogen to the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle. The most widely studied nitrogenase is the molybdenum (Mo)-dependent enzyme. The reduction of N(2) by this enzyme involves the transient interaction of two component proteins, designated the iron (Fe) protein and the MoFe protein, and minimally requires 16 magnesium ATP (MgATP), eight protons, and eight electrons. The current state of knowledge on how these proteins and small molecules together effect the reduction of N(2) to ammonia is reviewed. Included is a summary of the roles of the Fe protein and MgATP hydrolysis, information on the roles of the two metal clusters contained in the MoFe protein in catalysis, insights gained from recent success in trapping substrates and inhibitors at the active-site metal cluster FeMo cofactor, and finally, considerations of the mechanism of N(2) reduction catalyzed by nitrogenase.
Project description:Enzymatic N(2) reduction proceeds along a reaction pathway composed of a sequence of intermediate states generated as a dinitrogen bound to the active-site iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of the nitrogenase MoFe protein undergoes six steps of hydrogenation (e(-)/H(+) delivery). There are two competing proposals for the reaction pathway, and they invoke different intermediates. In the 'Distal' (D) pathway, a single N of N(2) is hydrogenated in three steps until the first NH(3) is liberated, and then the remaining nitrido-N is hydrogenated three more times to yield the second NH(3). In the 'Alternating' (A) pathway, the two N's instead are hydrogenated alternately, with a hydrazine-bound intermediate formed after four steps of hydrogenation and the first NH(3) liberated only during the fifth step. A recent combination of X/Q-band EPR and (15)N, (1,2)H ENDOR measurements suggested that states trapped during turnover of the ?-70(Ala)/?-195(Gln) MoFe protein with diazene or hydrazine as substrate correspond to a common intermediate (here denoted I) in which FeMo-co binds a substrate-derived [N(x)H(y)] moiety, and measurements reported here show that turnover with methyldiazene generates the same intermediate. In the present report we describe X/Q-band EPR and (14/15)N, (1,2)H ENDOR/HYSCORE/ESEEM measurements that characterize the N-atom(s) and proton(s) associated with this moiety. The experiments establish that turnover with N(2)H(2), CH(3)N(2)H, and N(2)H(4) in fact generates a common intermediate, I, and show that the N-N bond of substrate has been cleaved in I. Analysis of this finding leads us to conclude that nitrogenase reduces N(2)H(2), CH(3)N(2)H, and N(2)H(4) via a common A reaction pathway, and that the same is true for N(2) itself, with Fe ion(s) providing the site of reaction.