Interprotein electron transfer biohybrid system for photocatalytic H2 production.


Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, 60439, USA. [Email]


Worldwide there is a large research investment in developing solar fuel systems as clean and sustainable sources of energy. The fundamental mechanisms of natural photosynthesis can provide a source of inspiration for these studies. Photosynthetic reaction center (RC) proteins capture and convert light energy into chemical energy that is ultimately used to drive oxygenic water-splitting and carbon fixation. For the light energy to be used, the RC communicates with other donor/acceptor components via a sophisticated electron transfer scheme that includes electron transfer reactions between soluble and membrane bound proteins. Herein, we reengineer an inherent interprotein electron transfer pathway in a natural photosynthetic system to make it photocatalytic for aqueous H2 production. The native electron shuttle protein ferredoxin (Fd) is used as a scaffold for binding of a ruthenium photosensitizer and H2 catalytic function is imparted to its partner protein, ferredoxin-NADP+-reductase (FNR), by attachment of cobaloxime molecules. We find that this 2-protein biohybrid system produces H2 in aqueous solutions via light-induced interprotein electron transfer reactions (TON > 2500 H2/FNR), providing insight about using native protein-protein interactions as a method for fuel generation.


Biohybrid,Ferredoxin,Ferredoxin–NADP+-reductase,Interprotein electron transfer,Photosynthetic electron transfer,Solar fuel,Solar hydrogen,

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