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Iron sulfur cluster: from the crucible of life to a rare disease

Annalisa Pastore (King’s College, London e Università di Pavia)

Abstract:
Iron sulfur clusters, non amino acidic groups attached to proteins to assist them in their functions, are required to sustain fundamental cellular pathways. Being ubiquitous and evolutionarily ancient, they are thought to be the first response to the problem of storing iron and sulfur, two essential but toxic elements, in a bioavailable form. Iron sulfur clusters are at the very centre of life and have also been suggested to be present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). Cluster formation requires complex machines constituted by an intricate network of proteins and electron transfer pathways which we are only recently starting to understand. Modifications of any of the components of these machines result in disease. In my seminar I shall review our current knowledge and discuss our contributions to the field.