Formation of an Fe(III)-tyrosinate complex during biomineralization of H-subunit ferritin

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Science  05 Feb 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5096, pp. 796-798
DOI: 10.1126/science.8430332


An iron(III)-tyrosinate complex was identified in ferritin by ultraviolet-visible and resonance Raman spectroscopies. Previously, a specific amino acid side chain coordinated to iron in ferritin was not known. Ferritin protein was overexpressed in Escherichia coli from complementary DNA sequences of bullfrog red cell ferritin. The purple iron(III)-tyrosinate intermediate that formed during the first stages of iron uptake was replaced by the amber multinuclear iron(III)-oxo complexes of fully mineralized ferritin. Only the H subunit formed detectable amounts of the iron(III)-tyrosinate complex, which may explain the faster rates of iron biomineralization in H- compared to L-type ferritin.

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