Synthesis of a miniaturized [FeFe] hydrogenase model system.
ABSTRACT: The reaction occurring during artificial maturation of [FeFe] hydrogenase has been recreated using molecular systems. The formation of a miniaturized [FeFe] hydrogenase model system, generated through the combination of a [4Fe4S] cluster binding oligopeptide and an organometallic Fe complex, has been monitored by a range of spectroscopic techniques. A structure of the final assembly is suggested based on EPR and FTIR spectroscopy in combination with DFT calculations. The capacity of this novel H-cluster model to catalyze H2 production in aqueous media at mild potentials is verified in chemical assays.
Project description:Irreversible inhibition by molecular oxygen (O(2)) complicates the use of [FeFe]-hydrogenases (HydA) for biotechnological hydrogen (H(2)) production. Modification by O(2) of the active site six-iron complex denoted as the H-cluster ([4Fe4S]-2Fe(H)) of HydA1 from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was characterized by x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the iron K-edge. In a time-resolved approach, HydA1 protein samples were prepared after increasing O(2) exposure periods at 0 °C. A kinetic analysis of changes in their x-ray absorption near edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectra revealed three phases of O(2) reactions. The first phase (?(1) ? 4 s) is characterized by the formation of an increased number of Fe-O,C bonds, elongation of the Fe-Fe distance in the binuclear unit (2Fe(H)), and oxidation of one iron ion. The second phase (?(2) ? 15 s) causes a ?50% decrease of the number of ?2.7-Å Fe-Fe distances in the [4Fe4S] subcluster and the oxidation of one more iron ion. The final phase (?(3) ? 1000 s) leads to the disappearance of most Fe-Fe and Fe-S interactions and further iron oxidation. These results favor a reaction sequence, which involves 1) oxygenation at 2Fe(H(+)) leading to the formation of a reactive oxygen species-like superoxide (O(2)(-)), followed by 2) H-cluster inactivation and destabilization due to ROS attack on the [4Fe4S] cluster to convert it into an apparent [3Fe4S](+) unit, leading to 3) complete O(2)-induced degradation of the remainders of the H-cluster. This mechanism suggests that blocking of ROS diffusion paths and/or altering the redox potential of the [4Fe4S] cubane by genetic engineering may yield improved O(2) tolerance in [FeFe]-hydrogenase.
Project description:[FeFe] hydrogenases have attracted extensive attention in the field of renewable energy research because of their remarkable efficiency for H2 gas production. H2 formation is catalyzed by a biologically unique hexanuclear iron cofactor denoted the H-cluster. The assembly of this cofactor requires a dedicated maturation machinery including HydF, a multidomain [4Fe4S] cluster protein with GTPase activity. HydF is responsible for harboring and delivering a precatalyst to the apo-hydrogenase, but the details of this process are not well understood. Here, we utilize gas-phase electrophoretic macromolecule analysis to show that a HydF dimer forms a transient interaction complex with the hydrogenase and that the formation of this complex depends on the cofactor content on HydF. Moreover, Fourier transform infrared, electron paramagnetic resonance, and UV-visible spectroscopy studies of mutants of HydF show that the isolated iron-sulfur cluster domain retains the capacity for binding the precatalyst in a reversible fashion and is capable of activating apo-hydrogenase in in vitro assays. These results demonstrate the central role of the iron-sulfur cluster domain of HydF in the final stages of H-cluster assembly, i.e. in binding and delivering the precatalyst.
Project description:[FeFe]-Hydrogenases are complex metalloproteins that catalyze the reversible reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen utilizing a unique diiron subcluster bridged to a [4Fe4S] subcluster. Extensive studies have concentrated on the nature and catalytic activity of the active site, yet relatively little information is available concerning the mechanism of proton transport that is required for this activity. Previously, structural characterization of [FeFe]-hydrogenase from Clostridium pasteurianum indicated a potential proton transport pathway involving four residues (Cys-299, Glu-279, Ser-319, and Glu-282) that connect the active site to the enzyme surface. Here, we demonstrate that substitution of any of these residues resulted in a drastic reduction in hydrogenase activity relative to the native enzyme, supporting the importance of these residues in catalysis. Inhibition studies of native and amino acid-substituted enzymes revealed that Zn(2+) specifically blocked proton transfer by binding to Glu-282, confirming the role of this residue in the identified pathway. In addition, all four of these residues are strictly conserved, suggesting that they may form a proton transport pathway that is common to all [FeFe]-hydrogenases.
Project description:Developing from certain catalytic processes required for ancient life forms, the H2 processing enzymes [NiFe]- and [FeFe]-hydrogenase (H2ase) have active sites that are organometallic in composition, possessing carbon monoxide and cyanide as ligands. Simple synthetic analogues of the 2Fe portion of the active site of [FeFe]-H2ase have been shown to dock into the empty carrier (maturation) protein, apo-Hyd-F, via the bridging ability of a terminal cyanide ligand from a low valent FeIFeI unit to the iron of a 4Fe4S cluster of Hyd-F, with spectral evidence indicating CN isomerization during the coupling process (Berggren, et al., Nature, 2013, 499, 66-70). To probe the requirements for such cyanide couplings, we have prepared and characterized four cyanide-bridged analogues of 3-Fe systems with features related to the organoiron moiety within the loaded HydF protein. As in classical organometallic chemistry, the orientation of the CN bridge in the biomimetics is determined by the precursor reagents; no cyanide flipping or linkage isomerization was observed. Density functional theory computations evaluated the energetics of cyanide isomerization in such [FeFe]-CN-Fe ? [FeFe]-NC-Fe units, and found excessively high barriers account for the failure to observe the alternative isomers. These results highlight roles for cyanide as an unusual ligand in biology that may stabilize low spin iron in [FeFe]-hydrogenase, and can act as a bridge connecting multi-iron units during bioassembly of the active site.
Project description: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: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:[FeFe]-hydrogenase enzymes employ a unique organometallic cofactor for efficient and reversible hydrogen conversion. This so-called H-cluster consists of a [4Fe-4S] cubane cysteine linked to a diiron complex coordinated by carbon monoxide and cyanide ligands and an azadithiolate ligand (adt?=?NH(CH2S)2)·[FeFe]-hydrogenase apo-protein binding only the [4Fe-4S] sub-complex can be fully activated in vitro by the addition of a synthetic diiron site precursor complex ([2Fe]adt). Elucidation of the mechanism of cofactor assembly will aid in the design of improved hydrogen processing synthetic catalysts. We combined electron paramagnetic resonance, Fourier-transform infrared, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy to characterize intermediates of H-cluster assembly as initiated by mixing of the apo-protein (HydA1) from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with [2Fe]adt. The three methods consistently show rapid formation of a complete H-cluster in the oxidized, CO-inhibited state (Hox-CO) already within seconds after the mixing. Moreover, FTIR spectroscopy support a model in which Hox-CO formation is preceded by a short-lived Hred'-CO-like intermediate. Accumulation of Hox-CO was followed by CO release resulting in the slower conversion to the catalytically active state (Hox) as well as formation of reduced states of the H-cluster.
Project description:Maturation of [FeFe] hydrogenases requires the biosynthesis and insertion of the catalytic iron-sulfur cluster, the H cluster. Two radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) proteins proposed to function in H cluster biosynthesis, HydEF and HydG, were recently identified in the hydEF-1 mutant of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (M. C. Posewitz, P. W. King, S. L. Smolinski, L. Zhang, M. Seibert, and M. L. Ghirardi, J. Biol. Chem. 279:25711-25720, 2004). Previous efforts to study [FeFe] hydrogenase maturation in Escherichia coli by coexpression of C. reinhardtii HydEF and HydG and the HydA1 [FeFe] hydrogenase were hindered by instability of the hydEF and hydG expression clones. A more stable [FeFe] hydrogenase expression system has been achieved in E. coli by cloning and coexpression of hydE, hydF, and hydG from the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum. Coexpression of the C. acetobutylicum maturation proteins with various algal and bacterial [FeFe] hydrogenases in E. coli resulted in purified enzymes with specific activities that were similar to those of the enzymes purified from native sources. In the case of structurally complex [FeFe] hydrogenases, maturation of the catalytic sites could occur in the absence of an accessory iron-sulfur cluster domain. Initial investigations of the structure and function of the maturation proteins HydE, HydF, and HydG showed that the highly conserved radical-SAM domains of both HydE and HydG and the GTPase domain of HydF were essential for achieving biosynthesis of active [FeFe] hydrogenases. Together, these results demonstrate that the catalytic domain and a functionally complete set of Hyd maturation proteins are fundamental to achieving biosynthesis of catalytic [FeFe] hydrogenases.
Project description:The active site (H-cluster) of [FeFe]-hydrogenases is a blueprint for the design of a biologically inspired H2-producing catalyst. The maturation process describes the preassembly and uptake of the unique [2FeH] cluster into apo-hydrogenase, which is to date not fully understood. In this study, we targeted individual amino acids by site-directed mutagenesis in the [FeFe]-hydrogenase CpI of Clostridium pasteurianum to reveal the final steps of H-cluster maturation occurring within apo-hydrogenase. We identified putative key positions for cofactor uptake and the subsequent structural reorganization that stabilizes the [2FeH] cofactor in its functional coordination sphere. Our results suggest that functional integration of the negatively charged [2FeH] precursor requires the positive charges and individual structural features of the 2 basic residues of arginine 449 and lysine 358, which mark the entrance and terminus of the maturation channel, respectively. The results obtained for 5 glycine-to-histidine exchange variants within a flexible loop region provide compelling evidence that the glycine residues function as hinge positions in the refolding process, which closes the secondary ligand sphere of the [2FeH] cofactor and the maturation channel. The conserved structural motifs investigated here shed light on the interplay between the secondary ligand sphere and catalytic cofactor.
Project description:The [FeFe] hydrogenase enzyme interconverts protons and molecular hydrogen with remarkable efficiency. The reaction is catalysed by a unique metallo-cofactor denoted as the H-cluster containing an organometallic dinuclear Fe component, the [2Fe] subsite. The HydF protein delivers a precursor of the [2Fe] subsite to the apo-[FeFe] hydrogenase, thus completing the H-cluster and activating the enzyme. Herein we generate a semi-synthetic form of HydF by loading it with a synthetic low valent dinuclear Fe complex. We show that this semi-synthetic protein is practically indistinguishable from the native protein, and utilize this form of HydF to explore the mechanism of H-cluster assembly. More specifically, we show that transfer of the precatalyst from HydF to the hydrogenase enzyme results in the release of CO, underscoring that the pre-catalyst is a four CO species when bound to HydF. Moreover, we propose that an electron transfer reaction occurs during H-cluster assembly, resulting in an oxidation of the [2Fe] subsite with concomitant reduction of the [4Fe4S] cluster present on the HydF protein.