Salmonella enterica is an opportunistic pathogen that produces a [NiFe]-hydrogenase under aerobic conditions. In the present study, genetic engineering approaches were used to facilitate isolation of this enzyme, termed Hyd-5. The crystal structure was determined to a resolution of 3.2 Å and the hydrogenase was observed to comprise associated large and small subunits. The structure indicated that His229 from the large subunit was close to the proximal [4Fe-3S] cluster in the small subunit. In addition, His 229 was observed to lie close to a buried glutamic acid (Glu 73 ), which is conserved in oxygen-tolerant hydrogenases. His 229 and Glu73 of the Hyd-5 large subunit were found to be important in both hydrogen oxidation activity and the oxygen-tolerance mechanism. Substitution of His229 or Glu73 with alanine led to a loss in the ability of Hyd-5 to oxidize hydrogen in air. Furthermore, the H229A variant was found to have lost the overpotential requirement for activity that is always observedwith oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenases. It is possible thatHis229 has a role in stabilizing the super-oxidized form of the proximal cluster in the presence of oxygen, and it is proposed that Glu73 could play a supporting role in fine-tuning the chemistry of His229 to enable this function.
- Hydrogen metabolism
- Iron-sulphur cluster [NiFe]-hydrogenase
- Protein film electrochemistry (PFE)
- Salmonella enterica