The assembly of iron-sulfur clusters (ISCs) in eukaryotes involves the protein Frataxin. Deficits in this protein have been associated with iron inside the mitochondria and impair ISC biogenesis as it is postulated to act as the iron donor for ISCs assembly in this organelle. A pronounced lack of Frataxin causes Friedreich's Ataxia, which is a human neurodegenerative and hereditary disease mainly affecting the equilibrium, coordination, muscles and heart. Moreover, it is the most common autosomal recessive ataxia. High similarities between the human and yeast molecular mechanisms that involve Frataxin have been suggested making yeast a good model to study that process. In yeast, the protein complex that forms the central assembly platform for the initial step of ISC biogenesis is composed by yeast frataxin homolog, Nfs1-Isd11 and Isu. In general, it is commonly accepted that protein function involves interaction with other protein partners, but in this case not enough is known about the structure of the protein complex and, therefore, how it exactly functions. The objective of this work is to model the protein complex in order to gain insight into structural details that end up with its biological function. To achieve this goal several bioinformatics tools, modeling techniques and protein docking programs have been used. As a result, the structure of the protein complex and the dynamic behavior of its components, along with that of the iron and sulfur atoms required for the ISC assembly, have been modeled. This hypothesis will help to better understand the function and molecular properties of Frataxin as well as those of its ISC assembly protein partners. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Friedreich's Ataxia
- Iron-sulfur cluster