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Nature. 1990 Jun 14;345(6276):593-8.

Three-dimensional structure of the free radical protein of ribonucleotide reductase.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.


The enzyme ribonucleotide reductase furnishes precursors for the DNA synthesis of all living cells. One of its constituents, the free radical protein, has an unusual alpha-helical structure. There are two iron centres that are about 25 A apart in the dimeric molecule. Tyrosine 122, which harbours the stable free radical necessary for the activity of ribonucleotide reductase, is buried inside the protein and is located 5 A from the closest iron atom.

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