n43981SE Academic Article uri icon


  • The NiFe hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas contains one [Fe3S4]1+/0 cluster, two [Fe4S4]2+/1+ clusters, and one active-site Ni center that can be stabilized in four magnetic states (designated Ni-AB, Ni-SI, Ni-C, and Ni-R). Ni-AB and Ni-SI almost certainly correspond to Ni3+ and Ni2+ electronic states, respectively, while the electronic designations of Ni-C and Ni-R are uncertain. Ni-C arises from a species containing a photolabile hydrogenic species (H+, H, or H2). Stoichiometric reductive titrations of thionin-oxidized Hase were performed, using the reductant H2. Titrations were monitored at 410 nm and by EPR. The resulting titration curves were simulated using two models. Each assumed that the enzyme contains the redox centers mentioned above, but they differed as to the number of electrons assumed to separate Ni-C from Ni-AB. One model assumed Ni-C was two electrons more reduced than Ni-AB, the other that it was four electrons more reduced. The former model fit the data substantially better than the latter. This restricts possible Ni-C designations to either a protonated Ni1+ species, a Ni3+ hydride, a Ni3+(n2-H2) complex, or a Ni2+ species with a ligand radical. An argument is expanded in support of a Ni1+ dithiol designation of Ni-C. Partially reduced enzyme also exhibits an unusually complex EPR signal (the g = 2.21 signal) that has been proposed to originate from magnetic coupling between Ni-C and one of the reduced [Fe4S4]1+ clusters. The analysis presented indicates that the interacting cluster is the one with the more negative redox potential, designated Fe4b. This cluster is almost certainly located nearest to the Ni center. The Ni-C/Ni-R and [Fe4b]2+/1+ couples are both in redox equilibrium with H2. A mechanism of catalysis based on the spatial proximity and redox properties of the Ni center and Fe4b is discussed. 1995, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the American Chemical Society

author list (cited authors)

  • Roberts, L. M., & Lindahl, P. A.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995 11:11 AM