The paper, "Facile and dynamic cleavage of every iron–sulfide bond in cuboidal iron–sulfur clusters", was published on January 31, 2023.
A paper authored by Niklas B. Thompson, Gil Namkoong, Brighton A. Skeelhttps, and Daniel L. M. Suess was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Facile and dynamic cleavage of every iron–sulfide bond in cuboidal iron–sulfur clusters
Niklas B. Thompson, Gil Namkoong, Brighton A. Skeelhttps, and Daniel L. M. Suess
January 31, 2023. 120 (6) e2210528120 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2210528120
Almost half of all proteins are ‘metalloproteins:’ those that bind at least one metal. Members of one of the most ancient and ubiquitous classes of metalloproteins bind clusters of iron and sulfur ions. These clusters are biochemical work horses, shuttling electrons around the cell and performing a wide range of chemical reactions relevant to human health and the environment.
In this article, researchers in the Suess Lab have shown that, although these clusters are reasonably stable—sometimes indefinitely so when protected from oxygen—their bonds are dynamically broken and reformed under certain conditions. Specifically, in the presence of exogenous iron ions, every iron in the cluster is exchanged with iron in solution, requiring the cleavage and reformation of every iron-sulfur bond in the cluster. This process is rapid, sometimes occurring in a matter of seconds at ambient temperature. Overall, these results demonstrate that iron-sulfur clusters have highly dynamic structures, a property that may contribute to the remarkable functions of iron-sulfur proteins.
The primary objective of the Suess Lab is to understand the molecular chemistry that underlies global biogeochemical cycles, with the ultimate goal of deploying this knowledge to improve human health and positively impact the environment.