Taming of a poison: Biosynthesis of the NiFE-hydrogenase cyanide ligands

Stefanie Reissmann, Elisabeth Hochleitner, Haofan Wang, Athanasios Paschos, Friedrich Lottspeich, Richard S Glass, August Böck

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Abstract

NiFe-hydrogenases have an Ni-Fe site in which the iron has one CO and two CN groups as ligands. Synthesis of the CN ligands requires the activity of two hydrogenase maturation proteins: HypF and HypE. HypF is a carbamoyl-transferase that transfers the carbamoyl moiety of carbamoyladenylate to the COOH-terminal cysteine of HypE and thus forms an enzyme-thiocarbamate. HypE dehydrates the S-carbamoyl moiety in an adenosine triphosphate-dependent process to yield the enzyme thiocyanate. Chemical model reactions corroborate the feasibility of this unprecedented biosynthetic route and show that thiocyanates can donate CN to iron. This finding underscores a striking parallel between biochemistry and organometallic chemistry in the formation of an iron-cyano complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1070
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume299
Issue number5609
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2003

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Reissmann, S., Hochleitner, E., Wang, H., Paschos, A., Lottspeich, F., Glass, R. S., & Böck, A. (2003). Taming of a poison: Biosynthesis of the NiFE-hydrogenase cyanide ligands. Science, 299(5609), 1067-1070. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1080972