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Acta Biochim Pol. 2006;53(4):685-91. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Iron-sulfur cluster proteins: electron transfer and beyond.

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Department of Radiobiology and Health Protection, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Warszawa, Poland.


Iron-sulfur clusters-containing proteins participate in many cellular processes, including crucial biological events like DNA synthesis and processing of dioxygen. In most iron-sulfur proteins, the clusters function as electron-transfer groups in mediating one-electron redox processes and as such they are integral components of respiratory and photosynthetic electron transfer chains and numerous redox enzymes involved in carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur and nitrogen metabolism. Recently, novel regulatory and enzymatic functions of these proteins have emerged. Iron-sulfur cluster proteins participate in the control of gene expression, oxygen/nitrogen sensing, control of labile iron pool and DNA damage recognition and repair. Their role in cellular response to oxidative stress and as a source of free iron ions is also discussed.

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