Biosynthesis of the [FeFe] Hydrogenase H Cluster: A Central Role for the Radical SAM Enzyme HydG.
ABSTRACT: Hydrogenase enzymes catalyze the rapid and reversible interconversion of H2 with protons and electrons. The active site of the [FeFe] hydrogenase is the H cluster, which consists of a [4Fe-4S]H subcluster linked to an organometallic [2Fe]H subcluster. Understanding the biosynthesis and catalytic mechanism of this structurally unusual active site will aid in the development of synthetic and biological hydrogenase catalysts for applications in solar fuel generation. The [2Fe]H subcluster is synthesized and inserted by three maturase enzymes-HydE, HydF, and HydG-in a complex process that involves inorganic, organometallic, and organic radical chemistry. HydG is a member of the radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) family of enzymes and is thought to play a prominent role in [2Fe]H subcluster biosynthesis by converting inorganic Fe(2+), l-cysteine (Cys), and l-tyrosine (Tyr) into an organometallic [(Cys)Fe(CO)2(CN)](-) intermediate that is eventually incorporated into the [2Fe]H subcluster. In this Forum Article, the mechanism of [2Fe]H subcluster biosynthesis is discussed with a focus on how this key [(Cys)Fe(CO)2(CN)](-) species is formed. Particular attention is given to the initial metallocluster composition of HydG, the modes of substrate binding (Fe(2+), Cys, Tyr, and SAM), the mechanism of SAM-mediated Tyr cleavage to CO and CN(-), and the identification of the final organometallic products of the reaction.
Project description:The H-cluster of [FeFe]-hydrogenase consists of a [4Fe-4S]H-subcluster linked by a cysteinyl bridge to a unique organometallic [2Fe]H-subcluster assigned as the site of interconversion between protons and molecular hydrogen. This [2Fe]H-subcluster is assembled by a set of Fe-S maturase enzymes HydG, HydE and HydF. Here we show that the HydG product [FeII(Cys)(CO)2(CN)] synthon is the substrate of the radical SAM enzyme HydE, with the generated 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical attacking the cysteine S to form a C5'-S bond concomitant with reduction of the central low-spin Fe(II) to the Fe(I) oxidation state. This leads to the cleavage of the cysteine C3-S bond, producing a mononuclear [FeI(CO)2(CN)S] species that serves as the precursor to the dinuclear Fe(I)Fe(I) center of the [2Fe]H-subcluster. This work unveils the role played by HydE in the enzymatic assembly of the H-cluster and expands the scope of radical SAM enzyme chemistry.
Project description:Hydrogenases catalyze the redox interconversion of protons and H2, an important reaction for a number of metabolic processes and for solar fuel production. In FeFe hydrogenases, catalysis occurs at the H cluster, a metallocofactor comprising a [4Fe-4S]H subcluster coupled to a [2Fe]H subcluster bound by CO, CN(-), and azadithiolate ligands. The [2Fe]H subcluster is assembled by the maturases HydE, HydF, and HydG. HydG is a member of the radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine family of enzymes that transforms Fe and L-tyrosine into an [Fe(CO)2(CN)] synthon that is incorporated into the H cluster. Although it is thought that the site of synthon formation in HydG is the "dangler" Fe of a [5Fe] cluster, many mechanistic aspects of this chemistry remain unresolved including the full ligand set of the synthon, how the dangler Fe initially binds to HydG, and how the synthon is released at the end of the reaction. To address these questions, we herein show that L-cysteine (Cys) binds the auxiliary [4Fe-4S] cluster of HydG and further chelates the dangler Fe. We also demonstrate that a [4Fe-4S]aux[CN] species is generated during HydG catalysis, a process that entails the loss of Cys and the [Fe(CO)2(CN)] fragment; on this basis, we suggest that Cys likely completes the coordination sphere of the synthon. Thus, through spectroscopic analysis of HydG before and after the synthon is formed, we conclude that Cys serves as the ligand platform on which the synthon is built and plays a role in both Fe(2+) binding and synthon release.
Project description:Three iron-sulfur proteins--HydE, HydF, and HydG--play a key role in the synthesis of the [2Fe](H) component of the catalytic H-cluster of FeFe hydrogenase. The radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine enzyme HydG lyses free tyrosine to produce p-cresol and the CO and CN(-) ligands of the [2Fe](H) cluster. Here, we applied stopped-flow Fourier transform infrared and electron-nuclear double resonance spectroscopies to probe the formation of HydG-bound Fe-containing species bearing CO and CN(-) ligands with spectroscopic signatures that evolve on the 1- to 1000-second time scale. Through study of the (13)C, (15)N, and (57)Fe isotopologs of these intermediates and products, we identify the final HydG-bound species as an organometallic Fe(CO)2(CN) synthon that is ultimately transferred to apohydrogenase to form the [2Fe](H) component of the H-cluster.
Project description:Three maturase enzymes-HydE, HydF, and HydG-synthesize and insert the organometallic component of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase active site (the H-cluster). HydG generates the first organometallic intermediates in this process, ultimately producing an [Fe(CO)2(CN)] complex. A limitation in understanding the mechanism by which this complex forms has been uncertainty regarding the precise metallocluster composition of HydG that comprises active enzyme. We herein show that the HydG auxiliary cluster must bind both l-cysteine and a dangler Fe in order to generate the [Fe(CO)2(CN)] product. These findings support a mechanistic framework in which a [(Cys)Fe(CO)2(CN)](-) species is a key intermediate in H-cluster maturation.
Project description:Biosynthesis of the [FeFe] hydrogenase active site (the 'H-cluster') requires the interplay of multiple proteins and small molecules. Among them, the radical S-adenosylmethionine enzyme HydG, a tyrosine lyase, has been proposed to generate a complex that contains an Fe(CO)2(CN) moiety that is eventually incorporated into the H-cluster. Here we describe the characterization of an intermediate in the HydG reaction: a [4Fe-4S][(Cys)Fe(CO)(CN)] species, 'Complex A', in which a CO, a CN- and a cysteine (Cys) molecule bind to the unique 'dangler' Fe site of the auxiliary [5Fe-4S] cluster of HydG. The identification of this intermediate-the first organometallic precursor to the H-cluster-validates the previously hypothesized HydG reaction cycle and provides a basis for elucidating the biosynthetic origin of other moieties of the H-cluster.
Project description:The radical SAM enzyme HydG generates CO- and CN--containing Fe complexes that are involved in the bioassembly of the [FeFe] hydrogenase active cofactor, the H-cluster. HydG contains a unique 5Fe-4S cluster in which the fifth "dangler" Fe and the coordinating cysteine molecule have both been shown to be essential for its function. Here, we demonstrate that this dangler Fe can be replaced with Ni2+ or Co2+ and that the cysteine can be replaced with selenocysteine. The resulting HydG variants were characterized by electron paramagnetic resonance and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, as well as subjected to a Tyr cleavage assay. Both Ni2+ and Co2+ are shown to be exchange-coupled to the 4Fe-4S cluster, and selenocysteine substitution does not alter the electronic structure significantly. XAS data provide details of the coordination environments near the Ni, Co, and Se atoms and support a close interaction of the dangler metal with the FeS cluster via an asymmetric SeCys bridge. Finally, while we were unable to observe the formation of novel organometallic species for the Ni2+ and Co2+ variants, the selenocysteine variant retains the activity of wild type HydG in forming [Fe(CO)x(CN)y] species. Our results provide more insights into the unique auxiliary cluster in HydG and expand the scope of artificially generated Fe-S clusters with heteroatoms.
Project description:The organometallic H cluster at the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenase consists of a 2Fe subcluster coordinated by cyanide, carbon monoxide, and a nonprotein dithiolate bridged to a [4Fe-4S] cluster via a cysteinate ligand. Biosynthesis of this cluster requires three accessory proteins, two of which (HydE and HydG) are radical S-adenosylmethionine enzymes. The third, HydF, is a GTPase. We present here spectroscopic and kinetic studies of HydF that afford fundamental new insights into the mechanism of H-cluster assembly. Electron paramagnetic spectroscopy reveals that HydF binds both [4Fe-4S] and [2Fe-2S] clusters; however, when HydF is expressed in the presence of HydE and HydG (HydF(EG)), only the [4Fe-4S] cluster is observed by EPR. Insight into the fate of the [2Fe-2S] cluster harbored by HydF is provided by FTIR, which shows the presence of carbon monoxide and cyanide ligands in HydF(EG). The thorough kinetic characterization of the GTPase activity of HydF shows that activity can be gated by monovalent cations and further suggests that GTPase activity is associated with synthesis of the 2Fe subcluster precursor on HydF, rather than with transfer of the assembled precursor to hydrogenase. Interestingly, we show that whereas the GTPase activity is independent of the presence of the FeS clusters on HydF, GTP perturbs the EPR spectra of the clusters, suggesting communication between the GTP- and cluster-binding sites. Together, the results indicate that the 2Fe subcluster of the H cluster is synthesized on HydF from a [2Fe-2S] cluster framework in a process requiring HydE, HydG, and GTP.
Project description:[FeFe]-hydrogenases are nature's most prolific hydrogen catalysts, excelling at facilely interconverting H2 and protons. The catalytic core common to all [FeFe]-hydrogenases is a complex metallocofactor, referred to as the H-cluster, which is composed of a standard [4Fe-4S] cluster linked through a bridging thiolate to a 2Fe subcluster harboring dithiomethylamine, carbon monoxide, and cyanide ligands. This 2Fe subcluster is synthesized and inserted into [FeFe]-hydrogenase by three maturase enzymes denoted HydE, HydF, and HydG. HydE and HydG are radical S-adenosylmethionine enzymes and synthesize the nonprotein ligands of the H-cluster. HydF is a GTPase that functions as a scaffold or carrier for 2Fe subcluster production. Herein, we utilize UV-visible, circular dichroism, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopic studies to establish the existence of redox active [4Fe-4S] and [2Fe-2S] clusters bound to HydF. We have used spectroelectrochemical titrations to assign iron-sulfur cluster midpoint potentials, have shown that HydF purifies with a reduced [2Fe-2S] cluster in the absence of exogenous reducing agents, and have tracked iron-sulfur cluster spectroscopic changes with quaternary structural perturbations. Our results provide an important foundation for understanding the maturation process by defining the iron-sulfur cluster content of HydF prior to its interaction with HydE and HydG. We speculate that the [2Fe-2S] cluster of HydF either acts as a placeholder for HydG-derived Fe(CO)2CN species or serves as a scaffold for 2Fe subcluster assembly.
Project description:The preparation and spectroscopic characterization of a CO-inhibited [FeFe] hydrogenase with a selectively (57)Fe-labeled binuclear subsite is described. The precursor [(57)Fe2(adt)(CN)2(CO)4](2-) was synthesized from the (57)Fe metal, S8, CO, (NEt4)CN, NH4Cl, and CH2O. (Et4N)2[(57)Fe2(adt)(CN)2(CO)4] was then used for the maturation of the [FeFe] hydrogenase HydA1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, to yield the enzyme selectively labeled at the [2Fe]H subcluster. Complementary (57)Fe enrichment of the [4Fe-4S]H cluster was realized by reconstitution with (57)FeCl3 and Na2S. The Hox-CO state of [2(57)Fe]H and [4(57)Fe-4S]H HydA1 was characterized by Mössbauer, HYSCORE, ENDOR, and nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy.
Project description:The [FeFe] hydrogenase from Clostridium pasteurianum (CpI) harbors four Fe-S clusters that facilitate the transfer of an electron to the H-cluster, a ligand-coordinated six-iron prosthetic group that catalyzes the redox interconversion of protons and H(2). Here, we have used (57)Fe nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) to study the iron centers in CpI, and we compare our data to that for a [4Fe-4S] ferredoxin as well as a model complex resembling the [2Fe](H) catalytic domain of the H-cluster. To enrich the hydrogenase with (57)Fe nuclei, we used cell-free methods to post-translationally mature the enzyme. Specifically, inactive CpI apoprotein with (56)Fe-labeled Fe-S clusters was activated in vitro using (57)Fe-enriched maturation proteins. This approach enabled us to selectively label the [2Fe](H) subcluster with (57)Fe, which NRVS confirms by detecting (57)Fe-CO and (57)Fe-CN normal modes from the H-cluster nonprotein ligands. The NRVS and iron quantification results also suggest that the hydrogenase contains a second (57)Fe-S cluster. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy indicates that this (57)Fe-enriched metal center is not the [4Fe-4S](H) subcluster of the H-cluster. This finding demonstrates that the CpI hydrogenase retained an (56)Fe-enriched [4Fe-4S](H) cluster during in vitro maturation, providing unambiguous evidence of stepwise assembly of the H-cluster. In addition, this work represents the first NRVS characterization of [FeFe] hydrogenases.