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Interplay between CN Ligands and the Secondary Coordination Sphere of the H‑Cluster in [FeFe]-Hydrogenases

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-27, 00:00 authored by Oliver Lampret, Agnieszka Adamska-Venkatesh, Hannes Konegger, Florian Wittkamp, Ulf-Peter Apfel, Edward J. Reijerse, Wolfgang Lubitz, Olaf Rüdiger, Thomas Happe, Martin Winkler
The catalytic cofactor of [FeFe]-hydrogenses (H-cluster) is composed of a generic cubane [4Fe-4S]-cluster (4FeH) linked to a binuclear iron–sulfur cluster (2FeH) that has an open coordination site at which the reversible conversion of protons to molecular hydrogen occurs. The (2FeH) subsite features a diatomic coordination sphere composed of three CO and two CN ligands affecting its redox properties and providing excellent probes for FTIR spectroscopy. The CO stretch vibrations are very sensitive to the redox changes within the H-cluster occurring during the catalytic cycle, whereas the CN signals seem to be relatively inert to these effects. This could be due to the more structural role of the CN ligands tightly anchoring the (2FeH) unit to the protein environment through hydrogen bonding. In this work we explore the effects of structural changes within the secondary ligand sphere affecting the CN ligands on FTIR spectroscopy and catalysis. By comparing the FTIR spectra of wild-type enzyme and two mutagenesis variants, we are able to assign the IR signals of the individual CN ligands of the (2FeH) site for different redox states of the H-cluster. Moreover, protein film electrochemistry reveals that targeted manipulation of the secondary coordination sphere of the proximal CN ligand (i.e., closest to the (4FeH) site) can affect the catalytic bias. These findings highlight the importance of the protein environment for re-adjusting the catalytic features of the H-cluster in individual enzymes and provide valuable information for the design of artificial hydrogenase mimics.

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