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The Interface Between the Biological and Inorganic Worlds: Iron-Sulfur Metalloclusters

Complex iron-sulfur metalloclusters form the active sites of the enzymes that catalyze redox transformations of N2, CO, and H2, which are likely components of Earth's primordial atmosphere. Although these centers reflect the organizational principles of simpler iron-sulfur clusters, they exhibit extensive elaborations that confer specific ligand-binding and catalytic properties. These changes were probably achieved through evolutionary processes, including the fusion of small clusters, the addition of new metals, and the development of cluster assembly pathways, driven by selective pressures resulting from changes in the chemical composition of the biosphere.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Douglas Rees of Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, James Howard of Department of Biochemistry, University of Minnesota
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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