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Archaea. 2010 Sep 19;2010. pii: 842639. doi: 10.1155/2010/842639.

Iron-sulfur world in aerobic and hyperthermoacidophilic archaea Sulfolobus.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Nippon Medical School, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8602, Japan. tiwasaki@nms.ac.jp

Abstract

The general importance of the Fe-S cluster prosthetic groups in biology is primarily attributable to specific features of iron and sulfur chemistry, and the assembly and interplay of the Fe-S cluster core with the surrounding protein is the key to in-depth understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In the aerobic and thermoacidophilic archaea, zinc-containing ferredoxin is abundant in the cytoplasm, functioning as a key electron carrier, and many Fe-S enzymes are produced to participate in the central metabolic and energetic pathways. De novo formation of intracellular Fe-S clusters does not occur spontaneously but most likely requires the operation of a SufBCD complex of the SUF machinery, which is the only Fe-S cluster biosynthesis system conserved in these archaea. In this paper, a brief introduction to the buildup and maintenance of the intracellular Fe-S world in aerobic and hyperthermoacidophilic crenarchaeotes, mainly Sulfolobus, is given in the biochemical, genetic, and evolutionary context.

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