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Journal Article

Mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] protein assembly involves reductive [2Fe-2S] cluster fusion on ISCA1-ISCA2 by electron flow from ferredoxin FDX2


Bill,  Eckhard
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Weiler, B. D., Brück, M.-C., Kothe, I., Bill, E., Lill, R., & Mühlenhoff, U. (2020). Mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] protein assembly involves reductive [2Fe-2S] cluster fusion on ISCA1-ISCA2 by electron flow from ferredoxin FDX2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(34), 20555-20565. doi:10.1073/pnas.2003982117.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-D50E-A
The essential process of iron-sulfur (Fe/S) cluster assembly (15C) in mitochondria occurs in three major phases. First, [2Fe-2S] clusters are synthesized on the scaffold protein ISCU2; second, these clusters are transferred to the monothiol glutaredoxin GLRX5 by an Hsp70 system followed by insertion into [2Fe-2S] apoproteins; third, [4Fe-4S] clusters are formed involving the ISC proteins ISCA1-ISCA2-IBA57 followed by target-specific apoprotein insertion. The third phase is poorly characterized biochemically, because previous in vitro assembly reactions involved artificial reductants and lacked at least one of the in vivo-identified ISC components. Here, we reconstituted the maturation of mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] aconitase without artificial reductants and verified the [2Fe-2S]-containing GLRX5 as cluster donor. The process required all components known from in vivo studies (i.e., ISCA1-ISCA2-IBA57), yet surprisingly also depended on mitochondrial ferredoxin FDX2 and its NADPH-coupled reductase FDXR. Electrons from FDX2 catalyze the reductive [2Fe-2S] cluster fusion on ISCA1-ISCA2 in an IBA57-dependent fashion. This previously unidentified electron transfer was occluded during previous in vivo studies due to the earlier FDX2 requirement for [2Fe-2S] cluster synthesis on ISCU2. The FDX2 function is specific, because neither FDX1, a mitochondria! ferredoxin involved in steroid production, nor other cellular reducing systems, supported maturation. In contrast to ISC factor-assisted [4Fe-4S] protein assembly, [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer from GLRX5 to [2Fe-2S] apoproteins occurred spontaneously within seconds, clearly distinguishing the mechanisms of [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] protein maturation. Our study defines the physiologically relevant mechanistic action of late-acting ISC factors in mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] cluster synthesis, trafficking, and apoprotein insertion.