First Characterization of a Sensory [FeFe] Hydrogenase
Hydrogenases are enzymes capable of making hydrogen gas (H2) using protons from water, a reaction with relevance to a potential future green energy economy based on H2.
Bacteria containing these enzymes often produce H2 as a waste product during sugar metabolism in the absence of oxygen. Meanwhile, other types of bacteria consume this H2 as an energy source.
Hydrogenases, the key enzymes in both these processes, are only required under specific conditions, and so their synthesis inside the bacterium must be regulated in response to the amount of H2 present. This regulation is achieved using sensory hydrogenases capable of sensing and signaling the concentration of H2 to the bacterial protein synthesis machinery.
One particular class of sensory hydrogenases, the so-called sensory [FeFe] hydrogenases (HydS), have remained completely uncharacterized so far. Now, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr in Germany together with the Institute of Low Temperature Science at the University of Hokkaido in Japan, have produced and characterized a HydS enzyme from the thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima.1
Using the recently developed technique of artificial maturation together with advanced spectroscopic methods, the researchers showed that the protein environment of the catalytic center is elegantly tuned to optimize this protein for its sensory function.
The researchers demonstrate that the catalytic center is very sensitive to low amounts of H2 allowing the enzyme to effectively signal the presence of H2 to the regulatory system of the bacterium. This research provides a key step forward for our understanding of how these sensory enzymes work. Furthermore, knowing which adaptations tailor the sensory enzymes for their function tells us about how the other [FeFe] hydrogenases that produce hydrogen work.
Ultimately, a complete picture of the enzyme mechanism may provide important clues for telling chemists how to build better catalysts for water electrolyzers and hydrogen fuel cells, allowing the dream of a future hydrogen energy economy to become a reality.
1. Chongdar N, Birrell JA, Pawlak K, Sommer C, Reijerse EJ, Rüdiger O, Lubitz W, Ogata H (in press) J. Am. Chem. Soc. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b11287
The work was supported by the Max Planck Society and in part by JSPS KAKENHI grant number 16K21748.
Nipa Chongdar, James A. Birrell, Krzysztof Pawlak, Constanze Sommer, Edward J. Reijerse, Olaf Rüdiger, Wolfgang Lubitz, Hideaki Ogata: Unique spectroscopic properties of the H-cluster in a putative sensory [FeFe] hydrogenase, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b11287
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lubitz
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
Dr. Hideaki Ogata
Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University
Christin Ernst M.A. | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Energiekonversion
Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Algae Have Land Genes
13.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
13.07.2018 | Life Sciences