Iron-sulfur clusters in type I reaction centers

Ilya R. Vassiliev, Mikhail L. Antonkine, John H. Golbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Type I reaction centers (RCs) are multisubunit chlorophyll-protein complexes that function in photosynthetic organisms to convert photons to Gibbs free energy. The unique feature of Type I RCs is the presence of iron-sulfur clusters as electron transfer cofactors. Photosystem I (PS I) of oxygenic phototrophs is the best-studied Type I RC. It is comprised of an interpolypeptide [4Fe-4S] cluster, FX, that bridges the PsaA and PsaB subunits, and two terminal [4Fe-4S] clusters, FA and FB, that are bound to the PsaC subunit. In this review, we provide an update on the structure and function of the bound iron-sulfur clusters in Type I RCs. The first new development in this area is the identification of FA as the cluster proximal to FX and the resolution of the electron transfer sequence as FX → FA → FB → soluble ferredoxin. The second new development is the determination of the three-dimensional NMR solution structure of unbound PsaC and localization of the equal- and mixed-valence pairs in FA- and FB-. We provide a survey of the EPR properties and spectra of the iron-sulfur clusters in Type I RCs of cyanobacteria, green sulfur bacteria, and heliobacteria, and we summarize new information about the kinetics of back-reactions involving the iron-sulfur clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-160
Number of pages22
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 30 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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