The mitochondrial proteins Atm1p and Nfs1p are essential for biogenesis of cytosolic Fe/S proteins

Gyula Kispal, Peter Csere, Corinna Prohl, Roland Lill

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530 Citations (Scopus)


Iron-sulfur (Fe/S) cluster-containing proteins catalyse a number of electron transfer and metabolic reactions. Little is known about the biogenesis of Fe/S clusters in the eukaryotic cell. Here, we demonstrate that mitochondria perform an essential role in the synthesis of both intra- and extra-mitochondrial Fe/S proteins. Nfs1p represents the yeast orthologue of the bacterial cysteine desulfurase NifS that initiates biogenesis by producing elemental sulfur. The matrix-localized protein is required for synthesis of both mitochondrial and cytosolic Fe/S proteins. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter Atm1p of the mitochondrial inner membrane performs an essential function only in the generation of cytosolic Fe/S proteins by mediating export of Fe/S cluster precursors synthesized by Nfs1p and other mitochondrial proteins. Assembly of cellular Fe/S clusters constitutes an indispensable biosynthetic task of mitochondria with potential relevance for an iron-storage disease and the control of cellular iron uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3981-3989
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 1999



  • ABC transporter
  • Iron homeostasis
  • Iron-sulfur protein
  • Mitochondria
  • Sideroblastic anemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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