In Vivo Assembly of Photosystem I-Hydrogenase Chimera for In Vitro PhotoH2 Production

Panpan Wang, Anna Frank, Jens Appel, Marko Boehm, Nadine Strabel, Marc M. Nowaczyk, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Felipe Conzuelo, Kirstin Gutekunst

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Photosynthetic hydrogen (photoH2) production is an elegant approach to storing solar energy. The most efficient strategy is to couple the hydrogen-producing enzyme, the hydrogenase (H2ase), directly to photosystem I (PSI), which is a light-driven nanomachine found in photosynthetic organisms. PSI–H2ase fusions have been tested in vivo and in vitro. Both approaches have each their specific advantages and drawbacks. Here, a system to combine both approaches by assembling PSI–H2ase fusions in vivo for in vitro photoH2 production is established. For this, cyanobacterial PSI–H2ase fusion mutants are generated and characterized concerning photoH2 production in vivo. The chimeric protein is purified and embedded in a redox polymer on an electrode where it successfully produces photoH2 in vitro. The combination of in vivo and in vitro processes comes along with reciprocal benefits. The in vivo assembly ensures that the chimeric protein is fully functional and suited for the fabrication of bioelectrodes in vitro. At the same time, the photoelectrochemical in vitro characterization now permits to analyze the assemblies in detail. This will open avenues to optimize in vivo and in vitro approaches for photoH2 production in a target-oriented manner in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2203232
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2023


  • biophotovoltaics
  • hydrogen evolution
  • hydrogenases
  • photosystem I
  • protein chimera
  • PSI–H ase fusion


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