© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. In Escherichia coli, sulfur in iron-sulfur clusters is primarily derived from L-cysteine via the cysteine desulfurase IscS. However, the iron donor for iron-sulfur cluster assembly remains elusive. Previous studies have shown that, among the iron-sulfur cluster assembly proteins in E. coli, IscA has a unique and strong iron-binding activity and that the iron-bound IscA can efficiently provide iron for iron-sulfur cluster assembly in proteins in vitro, indicating that IscA may act as an iron chaperone for iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis. Here we report that deletion of IscA and its paralog SufA in E. coli cells results in the accumulation of a red-colored cysteine desulfurase IscS under aerobic growth conditions. Depletion of intracellular iron using a membrane-permeable iron chelator, 2,2′-dipyridyl, also leads to the accumulation of red IscS in wild-type E. coli cells, suggesting that the deletion of IscA/SufA may be emulated by depletion of intracellular iron. Purified red IscS has an absorption peak at 528 nm in addition to the peak at 395 nm of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. When red IscS is oxidized by hydrogen peroxide, the peak at 528 nm is shifted to 510 nm, which is similar to that of alanine-quinonoid intermediate in cysteine desulfurases. Indeed, red IscS can also be produced in vitro by incubating wild-type IscS with excess L-alanine and sulfide. The results led us to propose that deletion of IscA/SufA may disrupt the iron delivery for iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis, therefore impeding sulfur delivery by IscS, and result in the accumulation of red IscS in E. coli cells.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Yang, J., Tan, G., Zhang, T., White, R., Lu, J., & Ding, H. (2015). Deletion of the proposed iron chaperones IscA/SufA results in accumulation of a red intermediate cysteine desulfurase IscS in Escherichia coli. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290 (22), 14226-14234. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M115.654269