Harnessing selenocysteine to enhance microbial cell factories for hydrogen production

Front Catal. 2022;2:1089176. doi: 10.3389/fctls.2022.1089176. Epub 2022 Dec 22.


Hydrogen is a clean, renewable energy source, that when combined with oxygen, produces heat and electricity with only water vapor as a biproduct. Furthermore, it has the highest energy content by weight of all known fuels. As a result, various strategies have engineered methods to produce hydrogen efficiently and in quantities that are of interest to the economy. To approach the notion of producing hydrogen from a biological perspective, we take our attention to hydrogenases which are naturally produced in microbes. These organisms have the machinery to produce hydrogen, which when cleverly engineered, could be useful in cell factories resulting in large production of hydrogen. Not all hydrogenases are efficient at hydrogen production, and those that are, tend to be oxygen sensitive. Therefore, we provide a new perspective on introducing selenocysteine, a highly reactive proteinogenic amino acid, as a strategy towards engineering hydrogenases with enhanced hydrogen production, or increased oxygen tolerance.

PMID:36844461 | PMC:PMC9961374 | DOI:10.3389/fctls.2022.1089176


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