TCB Publications - Abstract

Maria L. Ghirardi, Paul W. King, Matthew C. Posewitz, Pin Ching Maness, Alexander Fedorov, Kwiseon Kim, Jordi Cohen, Klaus Schulten, and Michael Seibert. Approaches to developing biological H2-photoproducing organisms and processes. Biochemical Society Transactions, 33:70-72, 2005.

GHIR2005 The development of efficient biological systems for the direct photoproduction of H$_2$ gas from water faces several challenges, the more serious of which is the sensitivity of the H$_2$-evolving enzymes (hydrogenases) to O$_2$, an obligatory by-product of photosynthesis. This high sensitivity is common to both FeFe and NiFe hydrogenases, and is caused by O$_2$ binding to their respective metallocatalytic sites. This overview describes approaches to (i) molecular engineering of algal FeFe-hydrogenase to prevent O$_2$ access to its catalytic site; (ii) transform a cyanobacterium with an O$_2$-tolerant bacterial NiFe hydrogenase or (c) partially inactivate algal O$_2$-evolution activity to create physiologically anaerobiosis and induce hydrogenase expression.

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