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Genomic Characterization of Methanomicrobiales Reveals Three Classes of Methanogens

Description: Methanomicrobiales is the least studied order of methanogens. While these organisms appear to be more closely related to the Methanosarcinales in ribosomal-based phylogenetic analyses, they are metabolically more similar to Class I methanogens. In order to improve our understanding of this lineage, we have completely sequenced the genomes of two members of this order, Methanocorpusculum labreanum Z and Methanoculleus marisnigri JR1, and compared them with the genome of a third, Methanospirillum hungatei JF-1. Similar to Class I methanogens, Methanomicrobiales use a partial reductive citric acid cycle for 2-oxoglutarate biosynthesis, and they have the Eha energy-converting hydrogenase. In common with Methanosarcinales, Methanomicrobiales possess the Ech hydrogenase and at least some of them may couple formylmethanofuran formation and heterodisulfide reduction to transmembrane ion gradients. Uniquely, M. labreanum and M. hungatei contain hydrogenases similar to the Pyrococcus furiosus Mbh hydrogenase, and all three Methanomicrobiales have anti-sigma factor and anti-anti-sigma factor regulatory proteins not found in other methanogens. Phylogenetic analysis based on seven core proteins of methanogenesis and cofactor biosynthesis places the Methanomicrobiales equidistant from Class I methanogens and Methanosarcinales. Our results indicate that Methanomicrobiales, rather than being similar to Class I methanogens or Methanomicrobiales, share some features of both and have some unique properties. We find that there are three distinct classes of methanogens: the Class I methanogens, the Methanomicrobiales (Class II), and the Methanosarcinales (Class III).
Date: May 1, 2009
Creator: Anderson, Iain; Ulrich, Luke E.; Lupa, Boguslaw; Susanti, Dwi; Porat, Iris; Hooper, Sean D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF URANIUM REDUCTION BY CLOSTRIDIA AND ITS MANIPULATION.

Description: This research addresses the need for detailed studies of the enzymatic mechanisms for reduction of radionuclides and/or metals by fermentative microorganisms. The overall objective of this research is to elucidate systematically the molecular mechanisms involved in the reduction of uranium by Clostridia. We propose to (1) determine the role of hydrogenases in uranium reduction, (2) purify the enzymes involved in uranium reduction, (3) determine the mechanisms of reduction, e.g., one or two electron transfer reactions, and (4) elucidate the genetic control of the enzymes and cellular factors involved in uranium reduction. This is a collaborative study between BNL and Stanford University involving expertise in biomolecular science, biochemistry, microbiology, and electrochemistry.
Date: November 16, 2006
Creator: FRANCIS, A.J.; GAO, W.; CHIDAMBARAM, D. & DODGE, C.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production by green algae

Description: An overview of photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production by green algae in the context of its potential as a renewable chemical feed stock and energy carrier is presented. Beginning with its discovery by Gaffron and Rubin in 1942, motivated by curiosity-driven laboratory research, studies were initiated in the early 1970s that focused on photosynthetic hydrogen production from an applied perspective. From a scientific and technical point of view, current research is focused on optimizing net thermodynamic conversion efficiencies represented by the Gibbs Free Energy of molecular hydrogen. The key research questions of maximizing hydrogen and oxygen production by light-activated water splitting in green algae are (1) removing the oxygen sensitivity of algal hydrogenases; (2) linearizing the light saturation curves of photosynthesis throughout the entire range of terrestrial solar irradiance--including the role of bicarbonate and carbon dioxide in optimization of photosynthetic electron transport and (3) the minimum number of light reactions that are required to split water to elemental hydrogen and oxygen. Each of these research topics is being actively addressed by the photobiological hydrogen research community.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Greenbaum, E. & Lee, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Molecular Mechanism of Uranium Reduction by Clostridia and its Manipulation

Description: This research addresses the need for detailed studies of the enzymatic mechanisms for reduction of radionuclides and/or metals by fermentative microorganisms. The overall objective of this research is to elucidate systematically the molecular mechanisms involved in the reduction of uranium by Clostridia. We propose to (1) determine the role of hydrogenases in uranium reduction, (22) purify the enzymes involved in uranium reduction, (3) determine the mechanisms of reduction, e.g., one or two electron transfer reactions, and (4) elucidate the genetic control of the enzymes and cellular factors involved in uranium reduction. This is a collaborative study between BNL and Stanford University involving expertise in biomolecular science, biochemistry, microbiology, and electrochemistry.
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: Francis, A. J.; W. Gao, D. Chidambaram & Dodge, C.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Genome analysis of Elusimicrobium minutum, the first cultivated representative of the Elusimicrobia phylum (formerly Termite Group 1)

Description: The candidate phylum Termite group 1 (TG1), is regularly 1 encountered in termite hindguts but is present also in many other habitats. Here we report the complete genome sequence (1.64 Mbp) of Elusimicrobium minutum strain Pei191{sup T}, the first cultured representative of the TG1 phylum. We reconstructed the metabolism of this strictly anaerobic bacterium isolated from a beetle larva gut and discuss the findings in light of physiological data. E. minutum has all genes required for uptake and fermentation of sugars via the Embden-Meyerhof pathway, including several hydrogenases, and an unusual peptide degradation pathway comprising transamination reactions and leading to the formation of alanine, which is excreted in substantial amounts. The presence of genes encoding lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the presence of a pathway for peptidoglycan formation are consistent with ultrastructural evidence of a Gram-negative cell envelope. Even though electron micrographs showed no cell appendages, the genome encodes many genes putatively involved in pilus assembly. We assigned some to a type II secretion system, but the function of 60 pilE-like genes remains unknown. Numerous genes with hypothetical functions, e.g., polyketide synthesis, non-ribosomal peptide synthesis, antibiotic transport, and oxygen stress protection, indicate the presence of hitherto undiscovered physiological traits. Comparative analysis of 22 concatenated single-copy marker genes corroborated the status of Elusimicrobia (formerly TG1) as a separate phylum in the bacterial domain, which was so far based only on 16S rRNA sequence analysis.
Date: February 1, 2009
Creator: Herlemann, D. P. R.; Geissinger, O.; Ikeda-Ohtsubo, W.; Kunin, V.; Sun, H.; Lapidus, A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Catalytic mechanism of hydrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Final technical report, August 1, 1994--July 31, 1997

Description: This project is focused on investigations of the catalytic mechanism of the hydrogenase found in the aerobic, N{sub 2}-fixing microorganism Azotobacter vinelandii. This report summarizes the progress during the first two years of the current project and include the anticipated course of the research for the remaining year of the current project. Because the current proposal represents a change in direction, the authors also include a brief progress report of prior DOE-sponsored research dealing with hydrogenases.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Arp, D.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Crystallographic studies of nitrogenase and hydrogenase. Progress report, June 1, 1992--April 1, 1994

Description: The long term goal of this project is to obtain detailed knowledge of the structure and function of nitrogenase and hydrogenase through the analysis of physical, chemical, and biological data with reference to three-dimensional, atomic resolution crystal structures of components of the enzyme and/or complexes of the components. The current objectives to determine the crystal structure of wild-type Av1, the nitrogenase MoFe protein from Azotobacter vinelandii; to refine this structure at high resolution; and to initiate studies of mutant MoFe proteins that express altered chemical and physical properties. Further we seek to determine the crystal structure of the bi-directional all-Fe hydrogenase from C. pasteurianum, Cp-hydrI, and to initiate studies of the uptake hydrogenase from the same organism, Cp-hydrII.
Date: May 1, 1994
Creator: Bolin, J. T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Uranium Reduction by Clostridia

Description: The FRC groundwater and sediment contain significant concentrations of U and Tc and are dominated by low pH, and high nitrate and Al concentrations where dissimilatory metal reducing bacterial activity may be limited. The presence of Clostridia in Area 3 at the FRC site has been confirmed and their ability to reduce uranium under site conditions will be determined. Although the phenomenon of uranium reduction by Clostridia has been firmly established, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a reaction are not very clear. The authors are exploring the hypothesis that U(VI) reduction occurs through hydrogenases and other enzymes (Matin and Francis). Fundamental knowledge of metal reduction using Clostridia will allow us to exploit naturally occurring processes to attenuate radionuclide and metal contaminants in situ in the subsurface. The outline for this report are as follows: (1) Growth of Clostridium sp. under normal culture conditions; (2) Fate of metals and radionuclides in the presence of Clostridia; (3) Bioreduction of uranium associated with nitrate, citrate, and lepidocrocite; and (4) Utilization of Clostridium sp. for immobilization of uranium at the FRC Area 3 site.
Date: April 5, 2006
Creator: Francis, A.J.; Dodge, Cleveland J. & Gillow, Jeffrey B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Toward Photochemical Water Splitting Using Band-Gap-Narrowed Semiconductors and Transition-Metal Based Molecular Catalysts

Description: We are carrying out coordinated theoretical and experimental studies of toward photochemical water splitting using band-gap-narrowed semiconductors (BGNSCs) with attached multi-electron molecular water oxidation and hydrogen production catalysts. We focus on the coupling between the materials properties and the H{sub 2}O redox chemistry, with an emphasis on attaining a fundamental understanding of the individual elementary steps in the following four processes: (1) Light-harvesting and charge-separation of stable oxide or oxide-derived semiconductors for solar-driven water splitting, including the discovery and characterization of the behavior of such materials at the aqueous interface; (2) The catalysis of the four-electron water oxidation by dinuclear hydroxo transition-metal complexes with quinonoid ligands, and the rational search for improved catalysts; (3) Transfer of the design principles learned from the elucidation of the DuBois-type hydrogenase model catalysts in acetonitrile to the rational design of two-electron hydrogen production catalysts for aqueous solution; (4) Combining these three elements to examine the function of oxidation catalysts on BGNSC photoanode surfaces and hydrogen production catalysts on cathode surfaces at the aqueous interface to understand the challenges to the efficient coupling of the materials functions.
Date: June 7, 2009
Creator: Muckerman,J.T.; Rodriguez, J.A. & Fujita, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The electron transfer system of syntrophically grown Desulfovibrio vulgaris

Description: Interspecies hydrogen transfer between organisms producing and consuming hydrogen promotes the decomposition of organic matter in most anoxic environments. Although syntrophic couplings between hydrogen producers and consumers are a major feature of the carbon cycle, mechanisms for energy recovery at the extremely low free energies of reactions typical of these anaerobic communities have not been established. In this study, comparative transcriptional analysis of a model sulfate-reducing microbe, Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, suggested the use of alternative electron transfer systems dependent upon growth modality. During syntrophic growth on lactate with a hydrogenotrophic methanogen, D. vulgaris up-regulated numerous genes involved in electron transfer and energy generation when compared with sulfate-limited monocultures. In particular, genes coding for the putative membrane-bound Coo hydrogenase, two periplasmic hydrogenases (Hyd and Hyn) and the well-characterized high-molecular weight cytochrome (Hmc) were among the most highly expressed and up-regulated. Additionally, a predicted operon coding for genes involved in lactate transport and oxidation exhibited up-regulation, further suggesting an alternative pathway for electrons derived from lactate oxidation during syntrophic growth. Mutations in a subset of genes coding for Coo, Hmc, Hyd and Hyn impaired or severely limited syntrophic growth but had little affect on growth via sulfate-respiration. These results demonstrate that syntrophic growth and sulfate-respiration use largely independent energy generation pathways and imply that understanding of microbial processes sustaining nutrient cycling must consider lifestyles not captured in pure culture.
Date: May 1, 2009
Creator: Walker, C. B.; He, Z.; Yang, Z.K.; Ringbauer, J. A., Jr.; He, Q.; Zhou, J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

One carbon metabolism in anaerobic bacteria: Regulation of carbon and electron flow during organic acid production. Progress report, June 1990--May 1992

Description: This reporting period, progress is reported on the following: metabolic pathway of solvent production in B. methylotrophicum; the biochemical mechanism for metabolic regulation of the succinate fermentation; models to understand the physiobiochemical function of formate metabolism in anaerobes and; models for understanding the influence of low pH on one carbon metabolism. (CBS)
Date: April 1, 1992
Creator: Zeikus, J. G. & Jain, M. K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NREL Discovers Novel Protein Interaction in Green Algae that Suggests New Strategies to Improve Hydrogen Photoproduction (Fact Sheet)

Description: A research team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discovered a specific interaction between the protein ferredoxin - responsible for distributing reductants from photosynthesis to different metabolic pathways - and the HYDA2 hydrogenase, suggesting a role for HYDA2 in photohydrogen production.
Date: February 1, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lighting Up Enzymes for Solar Hydrogen Production (Fact Sheet)

Description: Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have combined quantum dots, which are spherical nanoparticles that possess unique size-tunable photophysical properties, with the high substrate selectivity and fast turnover of hydrogenase enzymes to achieve light-driven hydrogen (H2) production. They found that quantum dots of cadmium telluride coated in carboxylic acids easily formed highly stable complexes with the hydrogenase and that these hybrid assemblies functioned to catalyze H2 production using the energy of sunlight.
Date: February 1, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biological Systems for Hydrogen Photoproduction (Presentation)

Description: This presentation summarizes NREL biological systems for hydrogen photoproduction work for the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, May 14-18, 2012. General goal is develop photobiological systems for large-scale, low cost and efficient H{sub 2} production from water (barriers AH, AI and AJ). Specific tasks are: (1) Address the O{sub 2} sensitivity of hydrogenases that prevent continuity of H{sub 2} photoproduction under aerobic, high solar-to-hydrogen (STH) light conversion efficiency conditions; and (2) Utilize a limited STH H{sub 2}-producing method (sulfur deprivation) as a platform to address or test other factors limiting commercial algal H{sub 2} photoproduction, including low rates due to biochemical and engineering mechanisms.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Ghirardi, M. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy metabolism in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough: insights from transcriptome analysis

Description: Sulphate-reducing bacteria are important players in the global sulphur and carbon cycles, with considerable economical and ecological impact. However, the process of sulphate respiration is still incompletely understood. Several mechanisms of energy conservation have been proposed, but it is unclear how the different strategies contribute to the overall process. In order to obtain a deeper insight into the energy metabolism of sulphate-reducers whole-genome microarrays were used to compare the transcriptional response of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough grown with hydrogen/sulphate, pyruvate/sulphate, pyruvate with limiting sulphate, and lactate/thiosulphate, relative to growth in lactate/sulphate. Growth with hydrogen/sulphate showed the largest number of differentially expressed genes and the largest changes in transcript levels. In this condition the most up-regulated energy metabolism genes were those coding for the periplasmic [NiFeSe]hydrogenase, followed by the Ech hydrogenase. The results also provide evidence for the involvement of formate cycling and the recently proposed ethanol pathway during growth in hydrogen. The pathway involving CO cycling is relevant during growth on lactate and pyruvate, but not during growth in hydrogen as the most down-regulated genes were those coding for the CO-induced hydrogenase. Growth on lactate/thiosulphate reveals a down-regulation of several energymetabolism genes similar to what was observed in the presence of nitrite. This study identifies the role of several proteins involved in the energy metabolism of D. vulgaris and highlights several novel genes related to this process, revealing a more complex bioenergetic metabolism than previously considered.
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: Pereira, Patricia M.; He, Qiang; Valente, Filipa M.A.; Xavier, Antonio V.; Zhou, Jizhong; Pereira, Ines A.C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of the Tetraheme Cytochrome c3 in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough Metabolism

Description: The role of tetraheme cytochrome c3 (CycA) in the metabolism of the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DvH) was investigated by deletion of the cycA gene using a marker-exchange deletion strategy. A highly abundant periplasmic cytochrome, CycA has the important function of transferring electrons from periplasmic hydrogenases (Hyd, Hyn, Hys) to transmembrane complexes which transport the electrons to the cytoplasm where sulfate is reduced. Previous studies have indicated that during its interaction with periplasmic hydrogenases, CycA is also involved in the reduction of toxic metals. Growth of the cycA mutant strain on lactate as the electron donor and sulfate as the terminal electron acceptor showed that, despite its abundance, CycA is not essential for DvH growth. However, the rate of growth of the mutant strain was significantly lower, and the extent of growth less, than rates and extents of growth of the wild type and complement strains on lactate/sulfate medium. This indicates that a portion of the electrons generated from cytoplasmic lactate oxidation are transported by CycA for energy production, possibly in a hydrogen cycling mechanism employed to generate ATP. Failure of the mutant strain to grow on either formate or H2, with sulfate or sulfite as electron acceptors, further indicated that CycA may be the only redox partner of periplasmic hydrogenases. The cycA mutant strain also did not grow as well as either the wild type or complement strains on medium supplemented with pyruvate/sulfate. Final growth on pyruvate/sulfate was comparable, but the mutant grew more slowly than the wild type and complement strains. Interestingly, the mutant grew better than the wild type or complement strains on pyruvate alone, possibly due to the release of H2 and/or CO2 in concentrations which may be somewhat inhibitory to wild type growth.
Date: May 17, 2010
Creator: Semkiw, Elizabeth; Zane, Grant & Wall, Judy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biochemistry and genetics of autotrophy in Methanococcus

Description: The project investigated fundamental aspects of carbon metabolism and genetics in the methane-producing archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis. The project yielded 23 peer-reviewed publications and five reviews from 1997-2007. PDFs of the peer-reviewed publications are included in the next section. Some papers of special interest are listed below. The pathway of pyruvate biosynthesis was elucidated by a combination of biochemical and physiological studies. This work characterized the very oxygen sensitive pyruvate oxidoreductase and showed that the enzyme was irreversible under physiological conditions. Evidence for the flow of electrons from the energy coupling hydrogenase b (Ehb) was presented. These results were published in the following papers. Yang, Y.L., J.N. Gluska, and W.B. Whitman (2002) Intracellular pyruvate flux in the methane-producing archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis. Arch. Microbiol. 178: 493-498. Lin, W.C., Y.L. Yang, and W.B. Whitman (2003) The anabolic pyruvate oxidoreductase from Methanococcus maripaludis. Arch. Microbiol. 179: 444-456. Lin, W., and W.B. Whitman (2004) The importance of porE and porF in the anabolic pyruvate oxidoreductase of Methanococcus maripaludis. Arch. Microbiol. 181: 68-73. Porat, I., W. Kim, E.L. Hendrickson, Q. Xia, Y. Zhang, T. Wang, F. Taub, B.C. Moore, I.J. Anderson, M. Hackett, J.A. Leigh, and W.B. Whitman (2006) Disruption of the Ehb hydrogenase operon limits anabolic CO2 assimilation in the archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis. J. Bacteriol. 188: 1373-1380. The presence of a novel pathway of aromatic amino acid biosynthesis was discovered and elucidated as part of these studies. These results were published in the following papers. Tumbula, D. L., Q. Teng, M. G. Bartlett, and W. B. Whitman (1997) Ribose biosynthesis and evidence for an alternative first step in the common aromatic amino acid pathway in Methanococcus maripaludis. J. Bacteriol. 179:6010-6013. Porat, I., B.W. Waters, Q. Teng, and W.B. Whitman (2004) Two biosynthetic pathways for the aromatic amino acids in the archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis. J. Bacteriol. ...
Date: March 31, 2009
Creator: Whitman, William B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of community structure on the kinetics of anaerobic degradation of aromatic compounds. Progress report, March 1989--June 1991

Description: The physiology of fatty acid metabolism and the kinetics of benzoate degradation by anaerobic syntrophic bacteria were studied. We have shown that: a threshold for benzoate degradation by a syntrophic coculture of Syntrophus buswellii and Desulfovibrio strain G11 exists and the value of the threshold depends on the amount of benzoate and acetate suggesting a thermodynamic limitation. Syntrophomonas wolfei has the enzymatic ability to produce formate and that low levels of formate are made during growth in pure culture with crotonate or in coculture with butyrate. However, the high specific activities of hydrogenase compared to formate dehydrogenase indicate that hydrogen rather than formate is the intermediate involved in the interspecies transfer of reducing equivalents. We have isolated Syntrophus buswellii and a novel anaerobic bacteria that catalyzes an aryl-ether cleavage reaction using crotonate as the energy source. Several novel obligately halophilic anaerobes from hypersaline oil reservoir brines were isolated and characterized. Two of these degraded pyrogallate with the production of acetate. We have shown that S. wolfei synthesizes poly-{beta}hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) by two routes, directly from a {beta}-oxidation intermediate without cleaving a C-C bond and by the condensation of two acetyl-CoA molecules. The formation of D-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA needed for PHA synthesis occurs by the activity of a acetoacetyl-CoA reductase rather than a enoyl-CoA hydratase. The genes for PHA synthesis in S. wolfei have been cloned into Escherichia coli.
Date: June 1, 1991
Creator: McInerney, M. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Electron Transfer System of Syntrophically Grown Desulfovibrio vulgaris

Description: Interspecies hydrogen transfer between organisms producing and consuming hydrogen promotes the decomposition of organic matter in most anoxic environments. Although syntrophic couplings between hydrogen producers and consumers are a major feature of the carbon cycle, mechanisms for energy recovery at the extremely low free energies of reactions typical of these anaerobic communities have not been established. In this study, comparative transcriptional analysis of a model sulfate-reducing microbe, Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, suggested the use of alternative electron transfer systems dependent upon growth modality. During syntrophic growth on lactate with a hydrogenotrophic methanogen, D. vulgaris up-regulated numerous genes involved in electron transfer and energy generation when compared with sulfate-limited monocultures. In particular, genes coding for the putative membrane-bound Coo hydrogenase, two periplasmic hydrogenases (Hyd and Hyn) and the well-characterized high-molecular weight cytochrome (Hmc) were among the most highly expressed and up-regulated. Additionally, a predicted operon coding for genes involved in lactate transport and oxidation exhibited up-regulation, further suggesting an alternative pathway for electrons derived from lactate oxidation during syntrophic growth. Mutations in a subset of genes coding for Coo, Hmc, Hyd and Hyn impaired or severely limited syntrophic growth but had little affect on growth via sulfate-respiration. These results demonstrate that syntrophic growth and sulfate-respiration use largely independent energy generation pathways and imply that understanding of microbial processes sustaining nutrient cycling must consider lifestyles not captured in pure culture.
Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: PBD; ENIGMA; GTL; VIMSS; Walker, Christopher B.; He, Zhili et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NREL Melds Nature with Nanotech for Solar-Powered Hydrogen Production (Fact Sheet)

Description: NREL researchers are finding ways to mimic photosynthesis by combining enzymes with nanoparticles - particles on the scale of a billionth of a meter - to produce hydrogen directly from water and sunlight. This breakthrough project began in 2008 with scientists and researchers asking how they might learn from nature and develop a synthetic process that is more efficient than plants at converting sunlight to hydrogen. The goal was to find a new way to produce hydrogen that could then be commercialized inexpensively for fuel cells and other uses. Among the various approaches to making hydrogen, the NREL researchers wondered about a hybrid molecular assembly that might pair the best natural molecule with a synthesized nanoparticle. Researchers looked at using hydrogenase enzymes as one part of the equation. These biological catalysts can convert electrons and protons into hydrogen gas, or convert hydrogen into electrons and protons. The choice seemed worthwhile because the hydrogenase enzyme has some intriguing properties: a high substrate selectivity, meaning a very high preference for catalyzing reactions with protons rather than with other atoms and molecules; and fast turnover, which enables it to produce a hydrogen molecule in milliseconds.
Date: September 1, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department