Reducing CO2 is a challenging chemical transformation that biology solves easily, with high efficiency and specificity. In particular, formate dehydrogenases are of great interest since they reduce CO2 to formate, a valuable chemical fuel and hydrogen storage compound. The metal-dependent formate dehydrogenases of prokaryotes can show high activity for CO2 reduction. Here, we report an expression system to produce recombinant W/Sec-FdhAB from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough fully loaded with cofactors, its catalytic characterization and crystal structures in oxidized and reduced states. The enzyme has very high activity for CO2 reduction and displays remarkable oxygen stability. The crystal structure of the formate-reduced enzyme shows Sec still coordinating the tungsten, supporting a mechanism of stable metal coordination during catalysis. Comparison of the oxidized and reduced structures shows significant changes close to the active site. The DvFdhAB is an excellent model for studying catalytic CO2 reduction and probing the mechanism of this conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3844-3856
Number of pages13
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020


  • CO reduction
  • formate dehydrogenase
  • moco
  • molybdopterin
  • oxygen-tolerance
  • tungsten
  • X-ray structure


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward the Mechanistic Understanding of Enzymatic CO2 Reduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this