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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2006;22:457-86.

Iron-sulfur protein biogenesis in eukaryotes: components and mechanisms.

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Institut für Zytobiologie, Philipps Universität Marburg, 35037 Marburg, Germany.


Iron-sulfur (Fe/S) clusters require a complex set of proteins to become assembled and incorporated into apoproteins in a living cell. Researchers have described three distinct assembly systems in eukaryotes that are involved in the maturation of cellular Fe/S proteins. Mitochondria are central for biogenesis. They contain the ISC-the iron-sulfur cluster assembly machinery that was inherited from a similar system of eubacteria in evolution and is involved in biogenesis of all cellular Fe/S proteins. The basic principle of mitochondrial (and bacterial) Fe/S protein maturation is the synthesis of the Fe/S cluster on a scaffold protein before the cluster is transferred to apoproteins. Biogenesis of cytosolic and nuclear Fe/S proteins is facilitated by the cytosolic iron-sulfur protein assembly (CIA) apparatus. This process requires the participation of mitochondria that export a still unknown component via the ISC export machinery, including an ABC transporter.

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