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Biochemistry. 2002 Jul 16;41(28):8876-85.

Iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis. Kinetic analysis of [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer from holo ISU to apo Fd: role of redox chemistry and a conserved aspartate.

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Evans Laboratory of Chemistry, The Ohio State University, 100 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


ISU-type proteins mediate cluster transfer to apo protein targets. Rate constants have been determined for cluster transfer from ISU to apo Fd for both Homo sapiens and Schizosaccharomyces pombe proteins, and cross reactions have also been examined. Substitution of a key aspartate residue of ISU is found to decrease the rate of cluster transfer by at least an order of magnitude (for wild-type Hs ISU cluster transfer to Hs apo Fd, k(2) approximately 540 M(-1) min(-1), relative 56 M(-1) min(-1) for D37A ISU). This change in rate constant does not reflect any change in binding affinity of the ISU and Fd proteins. The pH dependencies of cluster transfer rates are similar for WT and D37A ISU, arguing against a role for Asp37 as a catalytic base, although evidence for general base catalysis mediating deprotonation of Cys from the apo target is supported by an observed pK(a) of 6.9 determined from the pH profiles for both WT and D37A ISU. Such a pK(a) value is at the lower limit for Cys and is common for solvent-accessible Cys thiols. The temperature dependence of the rate constant defining the cluster transfer reaction for wild type versus the aspartate derivative is distinct. Thermal activation parameters (DeltaH and DeltaS) are consistent with a solvent-accessible ISU-bound cluster, with desolvation as a principle barrier to cluster transfer. Experiments to determine the dependence of reaction rate constants on viscosity indicate cluster transfer to be rate-limiting. Fully oxidized cluster appears to be the natural state for transfer to target proteins. Reduced Fd does not readily reduce ISU-bound [2Fe-2S](2+) and does not promote cluster transfer to an apo Fd target.

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