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Biogenesis of iron-sulfur (FeS) clusters in an essential process in living organisms due to the critical role of FeS cluster proteins in myriad cell functions. During biogenesis of FeS clusters, multi-protein complexes are used to drive the mobilization and protection of reactive sulfur and iron intermediates, regulate assembly of various FeS clusters on an ATPase-dependent, multi-protein scaffold, and target nascent clusters to their downstream protein targets. The evolutionarily ancient sulfur formation (Suf) pathway for FeS cluster assembly is found in bacteria and archaea. In Escherichia coli, the Suf pathway functions as an emergency pathway under conditions of iron limitation or oxidative stress. In other pathogenic bacteria, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Enterococcus faecalis, the Suf pathway is the sole source for FeS clusters and therefore is a potential target for the development of novel antibacterial compounds. Here we summarize the considerable progress that has been made in characterizing the first step of mobilization and protection of reactive sulfur carried out by the SufS-SufE or SufS-SufU complex, FeS cluster assembly on SufBC2D scaffold complexes, and the downstream trafficking of nascent FeS clusters to A-type carrier (ATC) proteins. Cell Biology of Metals III edited by Roland Lill and Mick Petris. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Matthew Blahut, Enis Sanchez, Claire E Fisher, F Wayne Outten. Fe-S cluster biogenesis by the bacterial Suf pathway. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular cell research. 2020 Nov;1867(11):118829

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PMID: 32822728

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