Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation by Vesicle-Embedded [FeFe]Hydrogenase Mimics: A Mechanistic Study.
ABSTRACT: Artificial photosynthesis-the direct photochemical generation of hydrogen from water-is a promising but scientifically challenging future technology. Because nature employs membranes for photodriven reactions, the aim of this work is to elucidate the effect of membranes on artificial photocatalysis. To do so, a combination of electrochemistry, photocatalysis, and time-resolved spectroscopy on vesicle-embedded [FeFe]hydrogenase mimics, driven by a ruthenium tris-2,2'-bipyridine photosensitizer, is reported. The membrane effects encountered can be summarized as follows: the presence of vesicles steers the reactivity of the [FeFe]-benzodithiolate catalyst towards disproportionation, instead of protonation, due to membrane characteristics, such as providing a constant local effective pH, and concentrating and organizing species inside the membrane. The maximum turnover number is limited by photodegradation of the resting state in the catalytic cycle. Understanding these fundamental productive and destructive pathways in complex photochemical systems allows progress towards the development of efficient artificial leaves.
Project description:A new screening method for [FeFe]-hydrogenases is described, circumventing the need for specialized expression conditions as well as protein purification for initial characterization. [FeFe]-hydrogenases catalyze the formation and oxidation of molecular hydrogen at rates exceeding 103 s-1, making them highly promising for biotechnological applications. However, the discovery of novel [FeFe]-hydrogenases is slow due to their oxygen sensitivity and dependency on a structurally unique cofactor, complicating protein expression and purification. Consequently, only a very limited number have been characterized, hampering their implementation. With the purpose of increasing the throughput of [FeFe]-hydrogenase discovery, we have developed a screening method that allows for rapid identification of novel [FeFe]-hydrogenases as well as their characterization with regards to activity (activity assays and protein film electrochemistry) and spectroscopic properties (electron paramagnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy). The method is based on in vivo artificial maturation of [FeFe]-hydrogenases in Escherichia coli and all procedures are performed on either whole cells or non-purified cell lysates, thereby circumventing extensive protein purification. The screening was applied on eight putative [FeFe]-hydrogenases originating from different structural sub-classes and resulted in the discovery of two new active [FeFe]-hydrogenases. The [FeFe]-hydrogenase from Solobacterium moorei shows high H2-gas production activity, while the enzyme from Thermoanaerobacter mathranii represents a hitherto uncharacterized [FeFe]-hydrogenase sub-class. This latter enzyme is a putative sensory hydrogenase and our in vivo spectroscopy study reveals distinct differences compared to the well established H2 producing HydA1 hydrogenase from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Project description: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:Achieving highly efficient hydrogen (H2) evolution via artificial photosynthesis is a great ambition pursued by scientists in recent decades because H2 has high specific enthalpy of combustion and benign combustion product. [FeFe]-Hydrogenase ([FeFe]-H2ase) mimics have been demonstrated to be promising catalysts for H2 photoproduction. However, the efficient photocatalytic H2 generation system, consisting of PAA-g-Fe2S2, CdSe QDs and H2A, suffered from low stability, probably due to the hole accumulation induced photooxidation of CdSe QDs and the subsequent crash of [FeFe]-H2ase mimics. In this work, we take advantage of supramolecular interaction for the first time to construct the secondary coordination sphere of electron donors (HA(-)) to CdSe QDs. The generated secondary coordination sphere helps realize much faster hole removal with a ~30-fold increase, thus leading to higher stability and activity for H2 evolution. The unique photocatalytic H2 evolution system features a great increase of turnover number to 83600, which is the highest one obtained so far for photocatalytic H2 production by using [FeFe]-H2ase mimics as catalysts.
Project description:The reactivity of [Fe2(dcbdt)(CO)6] (1) confined in a UiO-66(Zr) metal-organic framework towards CO ligand substitutions with phosphines of different sizes was investigated. The reaction with smaller phosphines (PX3, X = Me, Et) is more selective compared to analogous reactions in homogenous solution phase, and two CO ligands at up to 80% of all [FeFe] sites in UiO-66-1 are replaced. The produced [Fe2(dcbdt)(CO)4(PX3)2] complexes in the UiO-66 matrix behave like typical [FeFe] hydrogenase active site model complexes, are reduced at more cathodic potentials than their hexacarbonyl analogues, and form bridging hydrides under acidic conditions.
Project description:This paper summarizes studies on the redox behavior of synthetic models for the [FeFe]-hydrogenases, consisting of diiron dithiolato carbonyl complexes bearing the amine cofactor and its N-benzyl derivative. Of specific interest are the causes of the low reactivity of oxidized models toward H(2), which contrasts with the high activity of these enzymes for H(2) oxidation. The redox and acid-base properties of the model complexes [Fe(2)[(SCH(2))(2)NR](CO)(3)(dppv)(PMe(3))](+) ((+) for R = H and [2'](+) for R = CH(2)C(6)H(5), dppv = cis-1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethylene)) indicate that addition of H(2) followed by deprotonation are (i) endothermic for the mixed valence (Fe(II)Fe(I)) state and (ii) exothermic for the diferrous (Fe(II)Fe(II)) state. The diferrous state is shown to be unstable with respect to coordination of the amine to Fe, a derivative of which was characterized crystallographically. The redox and acid-base properties for the mixed valence models differ strongly for those containing the amine cofactor versus those derived from propanedithiolate. Protonation of [2'](+) induces disproportionation to a 1:1 mixture of the ammonium [H2'](+) (Fe(I)Fe(I)) and the dication [2'](2+) (Fe(II)Fe(II)). This effect is consistent with substantial enhancement of the basicity of the amine in the Fe(I)Fe(I) state vs the Fe(II)Fe(I) state. The Fe(I)Fe(I) ammonium compounds are rapid and efficient H-atom donors toward the nitroxyl compound TEMPO. The atom transfer is proposed to proceed via the hydride. Collectively, the results suggest that proton-coupled electron-transfer pathways should be considered for H(2) activation by the [FeFe]-hydrogenases.
Project description:Hydrogenases catalyze the formation of hydrogen. The cofactor ('H-cluster') of [FeFe]-hydrogenases consists of a [4Fe-4S] cluster bridged to a unique [2Fe] subcluster whose biosynthesis in vivo requires hydrogenase-specific maturases. Here we show that a chemical mimic of the [2Fe] subcluster can reconstitute apo-hydrogenase to full activity, independent of helper proteins. The assembled H-cluster is virtually indistinguishable from the native cofactor. This procedure will be a powerful tool for developing new artificial H?-producing catalysts.
Project description:Though there have been many studies on photosensitizers coupled to model complexes of the [FeFe]-hydrogenases, few have looked at how the models react upon exposure to light. To extract photoreaction information, ultrafast time-resolved UV/visible pump, IR probe spectroscopy was performed on Fe2(?-S2C2H4)(CO)4(PMe3)2 (2b) dissolved in heptane and acetonitrile and the photochemical dynamics were determined. Excitation with 532 and 355 nm light produces bleaches and new absorptions that decay to half their original intensity with time constants of 300 ± 120 ps and 380 ± 210 ps in heptane and acetonitrile, respectively. These features persist to the microsecond timescale. The dynamics of 2b are assigned to formation of an initial set of photoproducts, which were a mixture of excited-state tricarbonyl isomers. These isomers decay into another set of long-lived photoproducts in which approximately half the excited-state tricarbonyl isomers recombine with CO to form another complex mixture of tricarbonyl and tetracarbonyl isomers.
Project description:Hydrogenases are metalloenzymes that catalyze the conversion of protons and molecular hydrogen, H2. [FeFe]-hydrogenases show particularly high rates of hydrogen turnover and have inspired numerous compounds for biomimetic H2 production. Two decades of research on the active site cofactor of [FeFe]-hydrogenases have put forward multiple models of the catalytic proceedings. In comparison, our understanding of proton transfer is poor. Previously, residues were identified forming a hydrogen-bonding network between active site cofactor and bulk solvent; however, the exact mechanism of catalytic proton transfer remained inconclusive. Here, we employ in situ infrared difference spectroscopy on the [FeFe]-hydrogenase from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii evaluating dynamic changes in the hydrogen-bonding network upon photoreduction. While proton transfer appears to be impaired in the oxidized state (Hox), the presented data support continuous proton transfer in the reduced state (Hred). Our analysis allows for a direct, molecular unique assignment to individual amino acid residues. We found that transient protonation changes of glutamic acid residue E141 and, most notably, arginine R148 facilitate bidirectional proton transfer in [FeFe]-hydrogenases.
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:Ruminococcus albus 7 has played a key role in the development of the concept of interspecies hydrogen transfer. The rumen bacterium ferments glucose to 1.3 acetate, 0.7 ethanol, 2 CO2, and 2.6 H2 when growing in batch culture and to 2 acetate, 2 CO2, and 4 H2 when growing in continuous culture in syntrophic association with H2-consuming microorganisms that keep the H2 partial pressure low. The organism uses NAD(+) and ferredoxin for glucose oxidation to acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and CO2, NADH for the reduction of acetyl-CoA to ethanol, and NADH and reduced ferredoxin for the reduction of protons to H2. Of all the enzymes involved, only the enzyme catalyzing the formation of H2 from NADH remained unknown. Here, we report that R. albus 7 grown in batch culture on glucose contained, besides a ferredoxin-dependent [FeFe]-hydrogenase (HydA2), a ferredoxin- and NAD-dependent electron-bifurcating [FeFe]-hydrogenase (HydABC) that couples the endergonic formation of H2 from NADH to the exergonic formation of H2 from reduced ferredoxin. Interestingly, hydA2 is adjacent to the hydS gene, which is predicted to encode an [FeFe]-hydrogenase with a C-terminal PAS domain. We showed that hydS and hydA2 are part of a larger transcriptional unit also harboring putative genes for a bifunctional acetaldehyde/ethanol dehydrogenase (Aad), serine/threonine protein kinase, serine/threonine protein phosphatase, and a redox-sensing transcriptional repressor. Since HydA2 and Aad are required only when R. albus grows at high H2 partial pressures, HydS could be a H2-sensing [FeFe]-hydrogenase involved in the regulation of their biosynthesis.