Nickel to the Fore

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1264-1265
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064049

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Nickel was long thought not to be important in biology, but now several enzymes are known to depend on nickel for activity. In his Perspective, Thauer highlights the report by Dobbek et al., whose high-resolution crystal structure of a nickel enzyme reveals a novel nickel cluster in the active site. The structure offers surprising insights into the active site and the likely mechanism through which the enzyme harvests electrons from carbon monoxide.