Cysteine Desulfurase-Mediated Sulfur Donation Pathways in Plants and Phototrophic Bacteria

  • Lolla Padmavathi
  • Hong Ye
  • Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
  • Marinus Pilon
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 27)

Cysteine is the sulfur donor for a number of important cofactor biosynthetic pathways including the synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters, thiamine, biotin and molybdenum cofactor. NifS-like cysteine desulfurase enzymes are key components in these pathways, catalyzing the initial release of S from cysteine. NifS-like enzymes do not work alone but are the first component of a sulfur transfer pathway from cysteine to cofactor. In vivo, NifS-like cysteine desulfurases work in concert with assembly factor proteins to which they transfer the released S and which serve to regulate the cysteine desulfurase activity and orchestrate the delivery of S to downstream targets. In plants, the chloroplast localized iron-sulfur assembly machinery resembles at least in part a machinery that in bacteria is responsible for the synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters under oxidative stress and iron limitation. A similar system operates in photosynthetic bacteria. While we are just beginning to unravel the mechanisms of S-dependent cofactor assembly systems it is already evident that these pathways play pivotal roles in cellular metabolism, and particularly are important to the function of plant plastids.


Sulfur Cluster Cluster Assembly Molybdenum Cofactor Sulfur Assimilation Cluster Biogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lolla Padmavathi
    • 1
  • Hong Ye
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
    • 1
  • Marinus Pilon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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