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Mechanistic exploitation of a self-repairing, blocked proton transfer pathway in an O 2 -tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b04798 DOI Help

Authors: Rhiannon M. Evans (University of Oxford) , Philip A. Ash (University of Oxford) , Stephen E. Beaton (University of Oxford) , Emily J. Brooke (University of Oxford) , Kylie A. Vincent (University of Oxford) , Stephen B. Carr (University of Oxford; Research Complex at Harwell) , Fraser A. Armstrong (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of The American Chemical Society

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12346

Abstract: Catalytic long-range proton transfer in [NiFe]-hydrogenases has long been associated with a highly conserved glutamate (E) situated within 4 Å of the active site. Substituting for glutamine (Q) in the O2-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase-1 from Escherichia coli produces a variant (E28Q) with unique properties that have been investigated using protein film electrochemistry, protein film infrared electrochemistry, and X-ray crystallography. At pH 7 and moderate potential, E28Q displays approximately 1% of the activity of the native enzyme, high enough to allow detailed infrared measurements under steady-state conditions. Atomic-level crystal structures reveal partial displacement of the amide side chain by a hydroxide ion, the occupancy of which increases with pH or under oxidizing conditions supporting formation of the superoxidized state of the unusual proximal [4Fe–3S] cluster located nearby. Under these special conditions, the essential exit pathway for at least one of the H+ ions produced by H2 oxidation, and assumed to be blocked in the E28Q variant, is partially repaired. During steady-state H2 oxidation at neutral pH (i.e., when the barrier to H+ exit via Q28 is almost totally closed), the catalytic cycle is dominated by the reduced states “Nia-R” and “Nia-C”, even under highly oxidizing conditions. Hence, E28 is not involved in the initial activation/deprotonation of H2, but facilitates H+ exit later in the catalytic cycle to regenerate the initial oxidized active state, assumed to be Nia-SI. Accordingly, the oxidized inactive resting state, “Ni-B”, is not produced by E28Q in the presence of H2 at high potential because Nia-SI (the precursor for Ni-B) cannot accumulate. The results have important implications for understanding the catalytic mechanism of [NiFe]-hydrogenases and the control of long-range proton-coupled electron transfer in hydrogenases and other enzymes.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: I03-Macromolecular Crystallography , I04-1-Macromolecular Crystallography (fixed wavelength) , I24-Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography

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