Isoprenoid biosynthesis via the MEP pathway: in vivo Mössbauer spectroscopy identifies a [4Fe-4S]2+ center with unusual coordination sphere in the LytB protein.J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Sep 23; 131(37):13184-5.JA
The MEP pathway for the biosynthesis of isoprene units is present in most pathogenic bacteria, in the parasite responsible for malaria, and in plant plastids. This pathway is absent in animals and is accordingly a target for the development of antimicrobial drugs. LytB, also called IspH, the last enzyme of this pathway catalyzes the conversion of (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate (HMBPP) into a mixture of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) using an oxygen sensitive iron sulfur cluster. The exact nature of this iron sulfur cluster is still a matter of debate. We have used (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy to investigate the LytB cluster in whole E. coli cells and in the anaerobically purified enzyme: In LytB an unusual [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster is attached to the protein by three conserved cysteines and contains a hexacoordinated iron linked to three sulfurs of the cluster and three additional oxygen or nitrogen ligands.