Volume 89 Issue 43 | p. 37 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 24, 2011

Hydrogenase Spills Secret

Crystallography reveals novel cluster behind oxygen tolerance, opening up new possibilities for fuel-cell applications
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE
Keywords: hydrogenase, hydrogen, catalysis, enzyme, X-ray crystallography

An enzyme that taps into hydrogen’s power with minimal interference from oxygen possesses a novel iron-sulfur cluster, according to two crystallography studies (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature10505 and 10.1038/nature10504). With nickel and iron clusters, hydrogenase enzymes split H2 into protons and electrons, but O2 squelches the activity of most hydrogenases. Some hydrogenases . . .

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