18 publications

18 publications

A Hydrogenase Model System Based on the Sequence of Cytochrome c: Photochemical Hydrogen Evolution in Aqueous Media

Hayashi, T

Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 8229, 10.1039/c1cc11157d

The diiron carbonyl cluster is held by a native CXXC motif, which includes Cys14 and Cys17, in the cytochrome c sequence. It is found that the diiron carbonyl complex works well as a catalyst for H2 evolution. It has a TON of ∼80 over 2 h at pH 4.7 in the presence of a Ru-photosensitizer and ascorbate as a sacrificial reagent in aqueous media.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: Carbonyl
Host protein: Cytochrome c
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 82
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Horse heart cytochrome C

Aqueous Light Driven Hydrogen Production by a Ru–Ferredoxin–Co Biohybrid

Utschig, L.M.

Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 10628-10631, 10.1039/c5cc03006d

Long-lived charge separation facilitates photocatalytic H2 production in a mini reaction center/catalyst complex.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Oxime
Host protein: Ferredoxin (Fd)
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 210
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Recalculated TON

Artificial Hydrogenases Based on Cobaloximes and Heme Oxygenase

Artero, V.

ChemPlusChem 2016, 81, 1083-1089, 10.1002/cplu.201600218

The insertion of cobaloxime catalysts in the heme‐binding pocket of heme oxygenase (HO) yields artificial hydrogenases active for H2 evolution in neutral aqueous solutions. These novel biohybrids have been purified and characterized by using UV/visible and EPR spectroscopy. These analyses revealed the presence of two distinct binding conformations, thereby providing the cobaloxime with hydrophobic and hydrophilic environments, respectively. Quantum chemical/molecular mechanical docking calculations found open and closed conformations of the binding pocket owing to mobile amino acid residues. HO‐based biohybrids incorporating a {Co(dmgH)2} (dmgH2=dimethylglyoxime) catalytic center displayed up to threefold increased turnover numbers with respect to the cobaloxime alone or to analogous sperm whale myoglobin adducts. This study thus provides a strong basis for further improvement of such biohybrids, using well‐designed modifications of the second and outer coordination spheres, through site‐directed mutagenesis of the host protein.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Oxime
Host protein: Heme oxygenase (HO)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 15.3
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

A Structural View of Synthetic Cofactor Integration into [FeFe]-Hydrogenases

Apfel, U.-P.; Happe, T.; Kurisu, G.

Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 959-968, 10.1039/C5SC03397G

Crystal structures of semisynthetic [FeFe]-hydrogenases with variations in the [2Fe] cluster show little structural differences despite strong effects on activity.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: CN; CO; Dithiolate
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: 4XDC
Notes: H2 evolution activity of the ArM: 2874 (mmol H2)*min-1*(mg protein)-1.

Chalcogenide Substitution in the [2Fe] Cluster of [FeFe]-Hydrogenases Conserves High Enzymatic Activity

Apfel, U.-P.; Happe, T.

Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 16947-16958, 10.1039/C7DT03785F

Combination of biological and chemical methods allow for creation of [FeFe]-hydrogenases with an artificial synthetic cofactor.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: CN; CO; Diselenolate
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: 5OEF
Notes: ---

Cobaloxime-Based Artificial Hydrogenase

Artero, V.

Inorg. Chem. 2014, 53, 8071-8082, 10.1021/ic501014c

Cobaloximes are popular H2 evolution molecular catalysts but have so far mainly been studied in nonaqueous conditions. We show here that they are also valuable for the design of artificial hydrogenases for application in neutral aqueous solutions and report on the preparation of two well-defined biohybrid species via the binding of two cobaloxime moieties, {Co(dmgH)2} and {Co(dmgBF2)2} (dmgH2 = dimethylglyoxime), to apo Sperm-whale myoglobin (SwMb). All spectroscopic data confirm that the cobaloxime moieties are inserted within the binding pocket of the SwMb protein and are coordinated to a histidine residue in the axial position of the cobalt complex, resulting in thermodynamically stable complexes. Quantum chemical/molecular mechanical docking calculations indicated a coordination preference for His93 over the other histidine residue (His64) present in the vicinity. Interestingly, the redox activity of the cobalt centers is retained in both biohybrids, which provides them with the catalytic activity for H2 evolution in near-neutral aqueous conditions.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Oxime
Host protein: Myoglobin (Mb)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 5
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Sperm whale myoglobin

Generation of a Functional, Semisynthetic [FeFe]-Hydrogenase in a Photosynthetic Microorganism

Berggren, G.; Lindblad, P.

Energy Environ. Sci. 2018, 11, 3163-3167, 10.1039/C8EE01975D

[FeFe]-Hydrogenases are hydrogen producing metalloenzymes with excellent catalytic capacities, highly relevant in the context of a future hydrogen economy. Here we demonstrate the synthetic activation of a heterologously expressed [FeFe]-hydrogenase in living cells of Synechocystis PCC 6803, a photoautotrophic microbial chassis with high potential for biotechnological energy applications. H2-Evolution assays clearly show that the non-native, semi-synthetic enzyme links to the native metabolism in living cells.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: CN; CO
Anchoring strategy: Reconstitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Going Beyond Structure: Nickel-Substituted Rubredoxin as a Mechanistic Model for the [NiFe] Hydrogenases

Shafaat, H.S.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 10250-10262, 10.1021/jacs.8b05194

Well-defined molecular systems for catalytic hydrogen production that are robust, easily generated, and active under mild aqueous conditions remain underdeveloped. Nickel-substituted rubredoxin (NiRd) is one such system, featuring a tetrathiolate coordination environment around the nickel center that is identical to the native [NiFe] hydrogenases and demonstrating hydrogenase-like proton reduction activity. However, until now, the catalytic mechanism has remained elusive. In this work, we have combined quantitative protein film electrochemistry with optical and vibrational spectroscopy, density functional theory calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations to interrogate the mechanism of H2 evolution by NiRd. Proton-coupled electron transfer is found to be essential for catalysis. The coordinating thiolate ligands serve as the sites of protonation, a role that remains debated in the native [NiFe] hydrogenases, with reduction occurring at the nickel center following protonation. The rate-determining step is suggested to be intramolecular proton transfer via thiol inversion to generate a NiIII–hydride species. NiRd catalysis is found to be completely insensitive to the presence of oxygen, another advantage over the native [NiFe] hydrogenase enzymes, with potential implications for membrane-less fuel cells and aerobic hydrogen evolution. Targeted mutations around the metal center are seen to increase the activity and perturb the rate-determining process, highlighting the importance of the outer coordination sphere. Collectively, these results indicate that NiRd evolves H2 through a mechanism similar to that of the [NiFe] hydrogenases, suggesting a role for thiolate protonation in the native enzyme and guiding rational optimization of the NiRd system.


Metal: Ni
Ligand type: Amino acid
Host protein: Rubredoxin (Rd)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: TOF = 149 s-1

Nature-Driven Photochemistry for Catalytic Solar Hydrogen Production: A Photosystem I-Transition Metal Catalyst Hybrid

Tiede, D.M.; Utschig, L.M.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 16334-16337, 10.1021/ja206012r

Solar energy conversion of water into the environmentally clean fuel hydrogen offers one of the best long-term solutions for meeting future energy demands. Nature provides highly evolved, finely tuned molecular machinery for solar energy conversion that exquisitely manages photon capture and conversion processes to drive oxygenic water-splitting and carbon fixation. Herein, we use one of Nature’s specialized energy-converters, the Photosystem I (PSI) protein, to drive hydrogen production from a synthetic molecular catalyst comprised of inexpensive, earth-abundant materials. PSI and a cobaloxime catalyst self-assemble, and the resultant complex rapidly produces hydrogen in aqueous solution upon exposure to visible light. This work establishes a strategy for enhancing photosynthetic efficiency for solar fuel production by augmenting natural photosynthetic systems with synthetically tunable abiotic catalysts.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Oxime; Pyridine
Host protein: Photosystem I (PSI)
Anchoring strategy: Undefined
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 2080
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Recalculated TON

Nickel-Substituted Rubredoxin as a Minimal Enzyme Model for Hydrogenase

Shafaat, H.S.

J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2015, 6, 3731-3736, 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b01750

A simple, functional mimic of [NiFe] hydrogenases based on a nickel-substituted rubredoxin (NiRd) protein is reported. NiRd is capable of light-initiated and solution-phase hydrogen production and demonstrates high electrocatalytic activity using protein film voltammetry. The catalytic voltammograms are modeled using analytical expressions developed for hydrogenase enzymes, revealing maximum turnover frequencies of approximately 20–100 s–1 at 4 °C with an overpotential of 540 mV. These rates are directly comparable to those observed for [NiFe] hydrogenases under similar conditions. Like the native enzymes, the proton reduction activity of NiRd is strongly inhibited by carbon monoxide. This engineered rubredoxin-based enzyme is chemically and thermally robust, easily accessible, and highly tunable. These results have implications for understanding the enzymatic mechanisms of native hydrogenases, and, using NiRd as a scaffold, it will be possible to optimize this catalyst for application in sustainable fuel generation.


Metal: Ni
Ligand type: Tetrathiolate
Host protein: Rubredoxin (Rd)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 300
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Photo-Driven Hydrogen Evolution by an Artificial Hydrogenase Utilizing the Biotin-Streptavidin Technology

Alberto, R.; Ward, T.R.

Helv. Chim. Acta 2018, 101, e1800036, 10.1002/hlca.201800036

Photocatalytic hydrogen evolution by an artificial hydrogenase based on the biotin‐streptavidin technology is reported. A biotinylated cobalt pentapyridyl‐based hydrogen evolution catalyst (HEC) was incorporated into different mutants of streptavidin. Catalysis with [Ru(bpy)3]Cl2 as a photosensitizer (PS) and ascorbate as sacrificial electron donor (SED) at different pH values highlighted the impact of close lying amino acids that may act as a proton relay under the reaction conditions (Asp, Arg, Lys). In the presence of a close‐lying lysine residue, both, the rates were improved, and the reaction was initiated much faster. The X‐ray crystal structure of the artificial hydrogenase reveals a distance of 8.8 Å between the closest lying Co‐moieties. We thus suggest that the hydrogen evolution mechanism proceeds via a single Co centre. Our findings highlight that streptavidin is a versatile host protein for the assembly of artificial hydrogenases and their activity can be fine‐tuned via mutagenesis.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Bipyridine; Pyridine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: >1800
ee: ---
PDB: 6FRY
Notes: ---

Photoinduced Hydrogen Evolution Catalyzed by a Synthetic Diiron Dithiolate Complex Embedded within a Protein Matrix

Onoda, A.

ACS Catal. 2014, 4, 2645-2648, 10.1021/cs500392e

The hydrogen-evolving diiron complex, (μ-S)2Fe2(CO)6 with a tethered maleimide moiety was synthesized and covalently embedded within the cavity of a rigid β-barrel protein matrix by coupling a maleimide moiety to a cysteine residue within the β-barrel. The (μ-S)2Fe2(CO)6 core within the cavity was characterized by UV–vis absorption and a characteristic CO vibration determined by IR measurements. The diiron complex embedded within the cavity retains the necessary catalytic activity (TON up to 130 for 6 h) to evolve H2 via a photocatalytic cycle with a Ru photosensitizer in a solution of 100 mM ascorbate and 50 mM Tris/HCl at pH 4.0 and 25 °C.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: Carbonyl; Dithiolate
Host protein: Nitrobindin (Nb)
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 130
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Protein Delivery of a Ni Catalyst to Photosystem I for Light-Driven Hydrogen Production

Tiede, D.M.; Utschig, L.M.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 13246-13249, 10.1021/ja405277g

The direct conversion of sunlight into fuel is a promising means for the production of storable renewable energy. Herein, we use Nature’s specialized photosynthetic machinery found in the Photosystem I (PSI) protein to drive solar fuel production from a nickel diphosphine molecular catalyst. Upon exposure to visible light, a self-assembled PSI-[Ni(P2PhN2Ph)2](BF4)2 hybrid generates H2 at a rate 2 orders of magnitude greater than rates reported for photosensitizer/[Ni(P2PhN2Ph)2](BF4)2 systems. The protein environment enables photocatalysis at pH 6.3 in completely aqueous conditions. In addition, we have developed a strategy for incorporating the Ni molecular catalyst with the native acceptor protein of PSI, flavodoxin. Photocatalysis experiments with this modified flavodoxin demonstrate a new mechanism for biohybrid creation that involves protein-directed delivery of a molecular catalyst to the reducing side of Photosystem I for light-driven catalysis. This work further establishes strategies for constructing functional, inexpensive, earth-abundant solar fuel-producing PSI hybrids that use light to rapidly produce hydrogen directly from water.


Metal: Ni
Ligand type: Phosphine
Host protein: Flavodoxin (Fld)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 94
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Recalculated TON

Metal: Ni
Ligand type: Phosphine
Host protein: Photosystem I (PSI)
Anchoring strategy: Undefined
Optimization: ---
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 1870
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Recalculated TON

Protein Secondary-Shell Interactions Enhance the Photoinduced Hydrogen Production of Cobalt Protoporphyrin IX

Ghirlanda, G.

Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 15852-15855, 10.1039/c4cc06700b

Hydrogen is an attractive fuel with potential for production scalability, provided that inexpensive, efficient molecular catalysts utilizing base metals can be developed for hydrogen production. Here we show for the first time that cobalt myoglobin (CoMyo) catalyzes hydrogen production in mild aerobic conditions with turnover number of 520 over 8 hours. Compared to free Co-protoporphyrin IX, incorporation into the myoglobin scaffold results in a 4-fold increase in photoinduced hydrogen production activity. Engineered variants in which specific histidine resides in proximity of the active site were mutated to alanine result in modulation of the catalytic activity, with the H64A/H97A mutant displaying activity 2.5-fold higher than wild type. Our results demonstrate that protein scaffolds can augment and modulate the intrinsic catalytic activity of molecular hydrogen production catalysts.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Porphyrin
Host protein: Myoglobin (Mb)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 518
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Reengineering Cyt b562 for Hydrogen Production: A Facile Route to Artificial Hydrogenases

Ghirlanda, G.

Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Bioenerg. 2016, 1857, 598-603, 10.1016/j.bbabio.2015.09.001

Bioinspired, protein-based molecular catalysts utilizing base metals at the active are emerging as a promising avenue to sustainable hydrogen production. The protein matrix modulates the intrinsic reactivity of organometallic active sites by tuning second-sphere and long-range interactions. Here, we show that swapping Co-Protoporphyrin IX for Fe-Protoporphyrin IX in cytochrome b562 results in an efficient catalyst for photoinduced proton reduction to molecular hydrogen. Further, the activity of wild type Co-cyt b562 can be modulated by a factor of 2.5 by exchanging the coordinating methionine with alanine or aspartic acid. The observed turnover numbers (TON) range between 125 and 305, and correlate well with the redox potential of the Co-cyt b562 mutants. The photosensitized system catalyzes proton reduction with high efficiency even under an aerobic atmosphere, implicating its use for biotechnological applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biodesign for Bioenergetics — the design and engineering of electronic transfer cofactors, proteins and protein networks, edited by Ronald L. Koder and J.L. Ross Anderson.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome b562
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 1450
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Ru–protein–Co Biohybrids Designed for Solar Hydrogen Production: Understanding Electron Transfer Pathways Related to Photocatalytic Function

Utschig, L.M.

Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 7068-7078, 10.1039/c6sc03121h

A series of Ru–protein–Co biohybrids have been prepared using the electron transfer proteins ferredoxin (Fd) and flavodoxin (Fld) as scaffolds for photocatalytic hydrogen production. The light-generated charge separation within these hybrids has been monitored by transient optical and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopies. Two distinct electron transfer pathways are observed. The Ru–Fd–Co biohybrid produces up to 650 turnovers of H2 utilizing an oxidative quenching mechanism for Ru(II)* and a sequential electron transfer pathway via the native [2Fe–2S] cluster to generate a Ru(III)–Fd–Co(I) charge separated state that lasts for ∼6 ms. In contrast, a direct electron transfer pathway occurs for the Ru–ApoFld–Co biohybrid, which lacks an internal electron relay, generating Ru(I)–ApoFld–Co(I) charge separated state that persists for ∼800 μs and produces 85 turnovers of H2 by a reductive quenching mechanism for Ru(II)*. This work demonstrates the utility of protein architectures for linking donor and catalytic function via direct or sequential electron transfer pathways to enable stabilized charge separation which facilitates photocatalysis for solar fuel production.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Oxime
Host protein: Ferredoxin (Fd)
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 650
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Recalculated TON

Semisynthetic and Biomolecular Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts

Bren, K.L.

Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 467-477, 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02054

There has been great interest in the development of stable, inexpensive, efficient catalysts capable of reducing aqueous protons to hydrogen (H2), an alternative to fossil fuels. While synthetic H2 evolution catalysts have been in development for decades, recently there has been great progress in engineering biomolecular catalysts and assemblies of synthetic catalysts and biomolecules. In this Forum Article, progress in engineering proteins to catalyze H2 evolution from water is discussed. The artificial enzymes described include assemblies of synthetic catalysts and photosynthetic proteins, proteins with cofactors replaced with synthetic catalysts, and derivatives of electron-transfer proteins. In addition, a new catalyst consisting of a thermophilic cobalt-substituted cytochrome c is reported. As an electrocatalyst, the cobalt cytochrome shows nearly quantitative Faradaic efficiency and excellent longevity with a turnover number of >270000.


Metal: Co
Ligand type: Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome c552
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: 27000
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Electrocatalysis

Spontaneous Activation of [FeFe]-Hydrogenases by an Inorganic [2Fe] Active Site Mimic

Happe, T.

Nat. Chem. Biol. 2013, 9, 607-609, 10.1038/Nchembio.1311

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 H2-producing catalysts.


Metal: Fe
Ligand type: CN; CO; Dithiolate
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: H2 evolution
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---