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Science. 2011 Jan 7;331(6013):91-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1196954.

Structure of precursor-bound NifEN: a nitrogenase FeMo cofactor maturase/insertase.

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1
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 114-96, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

NifEN plays an essential role in the biosynthesis of the nitrogenase iron-molybdenum (FeMo) cofactor (M cluster). It is an α(2)β(2) tetramer that is homologous to the catalytic molybdenum-iron (MoFe) protein (NifDK) component of nitrogenase. NifEN serves as a scaffold for the conversion of an iron-only precursor to a matured form of the M cluster before delivering the latter to its target location within NifDK. Here, we present the structure of the precursor-bound NifEN of Azotobacter vinelandii at 2.6 angstrom resolution. From a structural comparison of NifEN with des-M-cluster NifDK and holo NifDK, we propose similar pathways of cluster insertion for the homologous NifEN and NifDK proteins.

PMID:
21212358
PMCID:
PMC3138709
DOI:
10.1126/science.1196954
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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