The challenges of using NAD+-dependent formate dehydrogenases for CO2 conversion

Saadet Alpdağtaş, Ossi Turunen, Jarkko Valjakka, Barış Binay

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review


    In recent years, CO2 reduction and utilization have been proposed as an innovative solution for global warming and the ever-growing energy and raw material demands. In contrast to various classical methods, including chemical, electrochemical, and photochemical methods, enzymatic methods offer a green and sustainable option for CO2 conversion. In addition, enzymatic hydrogenation of CO2 into platform chemicals could be used to produce economically useful hydrogen storage materials, making it a win-win strategy. The thermodynamic and kinetic stability of the CO2 molecule makes its utilization a challenging task. However, Nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent formate dehydrogenases (FDHs), which have high selectivity and specificity, are attractive catalysts to overcome this issue and convert CO2 into fuels and renewable chemicals. It is necessary to improve the stability, cofactor necessity, and CO2 conversion efficiency of these enzymes, such as by combining them with appropriate hybrid systems. However, metal-independent, NAD+-dependent FDHs, and their CO2 reduction activity have received limited attention to date. This review outlines the CO2 reduction ability of these enzymes as well as their properties, reaction mechanisms, immobilization strategies, and integration with electrochemical and photochemical systems for the production of formic acid or formate. The biotechnological applications of FDH, future perspectives, barriers to CO2 reduction with FDH, and aspects that must be further developed are briefly summarized. We propose that constructing hybrid systems that include NAD+-dependent FDHs is a promising approach to convert CO2 and strengthen the sustainable carbon bio-economy.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
    Issue number6
    Early online date10 Oct 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    • artificial photosynthesis
    • CO reduction
    • cofactor regeneration
    • electrocatalysis
    • formic acid
    • NAD-dependent FDH

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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