© 2017 Frataxin is a ubiquitous protein that plays a role in Fe-S cluster biosynthesis and iron and heme metabolism, although its molecular functions are not entirely clear. In non-photosynthetic eukaryotes, frataxin is encoded by a single gene, and the protein localizes to mitochondria. Here we report the presence of two functional frataxin isoforms in Zea mays, ZmFH-1 and ZmFH-2. We confirmed our previous findings regarding plant frataxins: both proteins have dual localization in mitochondria and chloroplasts. Physiological, biochemical and biophysical studies show some differences in the expression pattern, protection against oxidants and in the aggregation state of both isoforms, suggesting that the two frataxin homologs would play similar but not identical roles in plant cell metabolism. In addition, two specific features of plant frataxins were evidenced: their ability to form dimers and their tendency to undergo conformational change under oxygen exposure.
- Fe-S clusters