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Issue 37, 2009
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[NiFe] hydrogenases: structural and spectroscopic studies of the reaction mechanism

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Abstract

[NiFe] hydrogenases catalyze the reversible oxidation of dihydrogen. For this simple reaction the molecule has developed a complex catalytic mechanism, during which the enzyme passes through various redox states. The [NiFe] hydrogenase contains several metal centres, including the bimetallic Ni–Fe active site, ironsulfur clusters and a Mg2+ ion. The Ni–Fe active site is located in the inner part of the protein molecule, therefore a number of pathways are involved in the catalytic reaction route. These consist of an electron transfer pathway, a proton transfer pathway and a gas-access channel. Over the last 10–15 years we have been investigating the crystal structures of the [NiFe] hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Miyazaki F, which is a sulfate-reducing anaerobic bacterium. So far the crystal structures of the oxidized, H2-reduced and carbon monoxide inhibited states have been determined at high resolution and have revealed a rather unique structure of the hetero-bimetallic Ni–Fe active site. Furthermore, intensive spectroscopic studies have been performed on the enzyme. Based on the crystal structure, a water-soluble Ni–Ru complex has been synthesized as a functional model for the [NiFe] hydrogenases. The present review gives an overview of the catalytic reaction mechanism of the [NiFe] hydrogenases.

Graphical abstract: [NiFe] hydrogenases: structural and spectroscopic studies of the reaction mechanism

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Feb 2009, accepted on 19 May 2009 and first published on 02 Jul 2009


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B903840J
Dalton Trans., 2009, 7577-7587

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    [NiFe] hydrogenases: structural and spectroscopic studies of the reaction mechanism

    H. Ogata, W. Lubitz and Y. Higuchi, Dalton Trans., 2009, 7577
    DOI: 10.1039/B903840J

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