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Methods Mol Biol. 2007;372:325-42. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-365-3_24.

Investigation of iron-sulfur protein maturation in eukaryotes.

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Institut für Zytobiologie und Zytopathologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.


Iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters are cofactors of many proteins that are involved in central biochemical pathways, such as oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis, and amino acid biosynthesis. The assembly of these cofactors and the maturation of Fe-S proteins require complex cellular machineries in all kingdoms of life. In eukaryotes, Fe-S protein biogenesis is an essential process, and mitochondria perform a primary role in synthesis. Defects in Fe-S protein maturation in yeast result in respiratory deficiency and auxotrophies for certain amino acids and vitamins that require Fe-S proteins for their biosynthesis. Frequently, heme biosynthesis is also affected. The present compendium describes assays for the analysis of de novo Fe-S cluster and heme formation, cellular iron homeostasis, and the activity of Fe-S cluster- and heme-containing enzymes. These approaches are crucial to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the maturation of Fe-S proteins and may aid in the identification of new members of this evolutionary ancient process.

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