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J Biol Chem. 2000 May 26;275(21):15955-61.

Isa1p is a component of the mitochondrial machinery for maturation of cellular iron-sulfur proteins and requires conserved cysteine residues for function.

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  • 1Institut für Zytobiologie und Zytopathologie der Philipps-Universität Marburg, Robert-Koch-Strasse 5, 35033 Marburg, Germany.


In eukaryotes, mitochondria execute a central task in the assembly of cellular iron-sulfur (Fe/S) proteins. The organelles synthesize their own set of Fe/S proteins, and they initiate the generation of extramitochondrial Fe/S proteins. In the present study, we identify the mitochondrial matrix protein Isa1p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a new member of the Fe/S cluster biosynthesis machinery. Isa1p belongs to a family of homologous proteins present in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Deletion of the ISA1 gene results in the loss of mitochondrial DNA precluding the use of the Deltaisa1 strain for functional analysis. Cells in which Isa1p was depleted by regulated gene expression maintained the mitochondrial DNA, yet the cells displayed retarded growth on nonfermentable carbon sources. This finding indicates the importance of Isa1p for mitochondrial function. Deficiency of Isa1p caused a defect in mitochondrial Fe/S protein assembly. Moreover, Isa1p was required for maturation of cytosolic Fe/S proteins. Two cysteine residues in a conserved sequence motif characterizing the Isa1p protein family were found to be essential for Isa1p function in the biogenesis of both intra- and extramitochondrial Fe/S proteins. Our findings suggest a function for Isa1p in the binding of iron or an intermediate of Fe/S cluster assembly.

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