Diffusion network of CO in FeFe-Hydrogenase.

Academic Article


  • FeFe-hydrogenase is an efficient enzyme to produce H2 under optimal conditions. However, the activity of this enzyme is highly sensitive to the presence of inhibitory gases CO and O2 that cause irreversible damage to the active site. Therefore, a detailed knowledge of the diffusion pathways of these inhibitory gases is necessary to develop strategies for designing novel enzymes that are tolerant to these gases. In this work, we studied the diffusion pathways of CO in the CpI FeFe-hydrogenase from Clostridium pasteurianum. Specifically, we used several enhanced sampling and free-energy simulation methods to reconstruct a three-dimensional free-energy surface for CO diffusion which revealed 45 free-energy minima forming an interconnected network of pathways. We discovered multiple pathways of minimal free-energy as diffusion portals for CO and found that previously suggested hydrophobic pathways are not thermodynamically favorable for CO diffusion. We also observed that the global minimum in the free-energy surface is located in the vicinity of the active-site metal cluster, the H-cluster, which suggests a high-affinity for CO near the active site. Among 19 potential residues that we propose as candidates for future mutagenesis studies, 11 residues are shared with residues that have been previously proposed to increase the tolerance of this enzyme for O2. We hypothesize that these shared candidate residues are potentially useful for designing new variants of this enzyme that are tolerant to both inhibitory gases.
  • Authors

  • Liu, Yong
  • Mohammadi, Mohammadjavad
  • Vashisth, Harish
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 28, 2018
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 30501239
  • Start Page

  • 204108
  • Volume

  • 149
  • Issue

  • 20