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Rates and Routes of Electron Transfer of [NiFe]-Hydrogenase in an Enzymatic Fuel Cell

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Petrenko,  Alexander
Molecular Simulations and Design, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Stein,  Matthias
Molecular Simulations and Design, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Petrenko, A., & Stein, M. (2015). Rates and Routes of Electron Transfer of [NiFe]-Hydrogenase in an Enzymatic Fuel Cell. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 119(43), 3870 -13882. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b04208.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-4E1E-B
Abstract
Hydrogenase enzymes are being used in enzymatic fuel cells immobilized on a graphite or carbon electrode surface, for example. The enzyme is used for the anodic oxidation of molecular hydrogen (H2) to produce protons and electrons. The association and orientation of the enzyme at the anode electrode for a direct electron transfer is not completely resolved. The distal FeS-cluster in [NiFe]-hydrogenases contains a histidine residue which is known to play a critical role in the intermolecular electron transfer between the enzyme and the electrode surface. The [NiFe]-hydrogenase graphite electrode association was investigated using Brownian Dynamics simulations. Residues that were shown to be in proximity to the electrode surface were identified (His184, Ser196, Glu461, Glu464), and electron transfer routes connecting the distal FeS-cluster with the surface residues were investigated. Several possible pathways for electron transfer between the distal FeS-cluster and the terminal amino acid residues were probed in terms of their rates of electron transfer using DFT methods. The reorganization energies λ of the distal iron–sulfur cluster and coronene as a molecular model for graphite were calculated. The reorganization energy of the distal (His)(Cys)3 cluster was found to be not very different from that of a standard cubane clusters with a (Cys)4 coordination. Electronic coupling matrix elements and rates of electron transfer for the different pathways were calculated according to the Marcus equation. The rates for glutamate-mediated electrode binding were found to be incompatible with experimental data. A direct electron transfer from the histidine ligand of the distal FeS-cluster to the electrode yielded rates of electron transfer in excellent agreement with experiment. A second pathway, however, from the distal FeS-cluster to the Ser196 residue was found to be equally efficient and feasible. Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society [accessed 2015 September 8th]