Electrochemical studies of hydrogenases, the biological catalysts of H2 oxidation and production, have proven wrong the old saying that enzymes do not easily transfer electrons to electrodes in the absence of mediators. Many distinct hydrogenases have actually been directly connected to electrodes or particles, for studying their catalytic mechanism or for designing solar-fuels catalysts. In this review, we list the electrodes that have proved successful for direct electron transfer to hydrogenases, and we discuss recent results which illustrate new directions in this research field: the study of the biosynthesis of FeFe hydrogenase, the electrochemical characterization of non-standard NiFe or FeFe hydrogenases, the general discussion of what makes a catalyst better in one particular direction of the reaction, and the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of hydrogenase catalysis by combining electrochemistry and theoretical chemistry, spectroscopy or photochemistry. The electrochemical methods described herein will probably prove useful for studying or using other redox enzymes.
New perspectives in hydrogenase direct electrochemistry / Sensi, M.; del Barrio, M.; Baffert, C.; Fourmond, V.; Leger, C.. - In: CURRENT OPINION IN ELECTROCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 2451-9103. - 5:1(2017), pp. 135-145. [10.1016/j.coelec.2017.08.005]