Geometry of the Catalytic Active Site in [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Is Determined by Hydrogen Bonding and Proton Transfer

Duan, J. and Mebs, S. and Laun, K. and Wittkamp, F. and Heberle, J. and Happe, T. and Hofmann, E. and Apfel, U.-P. and Winkler, M. and Senger, M. and Haumann, M. and Stripp, S.T.

Volume: 9 Pages: 9140-9149
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b02203
Published: 2019

[FeFe]-hydrogenases are efficient metalloenzymes that catalyze the oxidation and evolution of molecular hydrogen, H2. They serve as a blueprint for the design of synthetic H2-forming catalysts. [FeFe]-hydrogenases harbor a six-iron cofactor that comprises a [4Fe-4S] cluster and a unique diiron site with cyanide, carbonyl, and hydride ligands. To address the ligand dynamics in catalytic turnover and upon carbon monoxide (CO) inhibition, we replaced the native aminodithiolate group of the diiron site by synthetic dithiolates, inserted into wild-type and amino acid variants of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase HYDA1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The reactivity with H2 and CO was characterized using in situ and transient infrared spectroscopy, protein crystallography, quantum chemical calculations, and kinetic simulations. All cofactor variants adopted characteristic populations of reduced species in the presence of H2 and showed significant changes in CO inhibition and reactivation kinetics. Differences were attributed to varying interactions between polar ligands and the dithiolate headgroup and/or the environment of the cofactor (i.e., amino acid residues and water molecules). The presented results show how catalytically relevant intermediates are stabilized by inner-sphere hydrogen bonding suggesting that the role of the aminodithiolate group must not be restricted to proton transfer. © 2019 American Chemical Society.

« back