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Frataxin Acts as an Iron Chaperone Protein to Modulate Mitochondrial Aconitase Activity

Science  09 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5681, pp. 242-245
DOI: 10.1126/science.1098991

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Abstract

Numerous degenerative disorders are associated with elevated levels of prooxidants and declines in mitochondrial aconitase activity. Deficiency in the mitochondrial iron-binding protein frataxin results in diminished activity of various mitochondrial iron-sulfur proteins including aconitase. We found that aconitase can undergo reversible citrate-dependent modulation in activity in response to pro-oxidants. Frataxin interacted with aconitase in a citrate-dependent fashion, reduced the level of oxidant-induced inactivation, and converted inactive [3Fe-4S]1+ enzyme to the active [4Fe-4S]2+ form of the protein. Thus, frataxin is an iron chaperone protein that protects the aconitase [4Fe-4S]2+ cluster from disassembly and promotes enzyme reactivation.

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