Iron-sulfur clusters are ancient cofactors that play a fundamental role in metabolism and may have impacted the prebiotic chemistry that led to life. However, it is unclear whether iron-sulfur clusters could have been synthesized on prebiotic Earth. Dissolved iron on early Earth was predominantly in the reduced ferrous state, but ferrous ions alone cannot form polynuclear iron-sulfur clusters. Similarly, free sulfide may not have been readily available. Here we show that UV light drives the synthesis of [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] clusters through the photooxidation of ferrous ions and the photolysis of organic thiols. Iron-sulfur clusters coordinate to and are stabilized by a wide range of cysteine containing peptides, and the assembly of iron-sulfur cluster-peptide complexes can take place within model protocells in a process that parallels extant pathways. Our experiments suggest that iron-sulfur clusters may have formed easily on early Earth, facilitating the emergence of an iron-sulfur cluster dependent metabolism.

UV-light-driven prebiotic synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters / Bonfio, Claudia; Valer, Luca; Scintilla, Simone; Shah, Sachin; Evans, David J.; Jin, Lin; Szostak, Jack W.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Sutherland, John D.; Mansy, Sheref S.. - In: NATURE CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 1755-4330. - 9:(2017), pp. 1229-1234. [10.1038/nchem.2817]

UV-light-driven prebiotic synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters

Bonfio, Claudia;Valer, Luca;Scintilla, Simone;Mansy, Sheref S.
2017-01-01

Abstract

Iron-sulfur clusters are ancient cofactors that play a fundamental role in metabolism and may have impacted the prebiotic chemistry that led to life. However, it is unclear whether iron-sulfur clusters could have been synthesized on prebiotic Earth. Dissolved iron on early Earth was predominantly in the reduced ferrous state, but ferrous ions alone cannot form polynuclear iron-sulfur clusters. Similarly, free sulfide may not have been readily available. Here we show that UV light drives the synthesis of [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] clusters through the photooxidation of ferrous ions and the photolysis of organic thiols. Iron-sulfur clusters coordinate to and are stabilized by a wide range of cysteine containing peptides, and the assembly of iron-sulfur cluster-peptide complexes can take place within model protocells in a process that parallels extant pathways. Our experiments suggest that iron-sulfur clusters may have formed easily on early Earth, facilitating the emergence of an iron-sulfur cluster dependent metabolism.
2017
Bonfio, Claudia; Valer, Luca; Scintilla, Simone; Shah, Sachin; Evans, David J.; Jin, Lin; Szostak, Jack W.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Sutherland, John D.; Mansy, Sheref S.
UV-light-driven prebiotic synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters / Bonfio, Claudia; Valer, Luca; Scintilla, Simone; Shah, Sachin; Evans, David J.; Jin, Lin; Szostak, Jack W.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Sutherland, John D.; Mansy, Sheref S.. - In: NATURE CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 1755-4330. - 9:(2017), pp. 1229-1234. [10.1038/nchem.2817]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2017Bonfio.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: main article
Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 3.1 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.1 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri
emss-75948.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Post-print referato (Refereed author’s manuscript)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 1.07 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.07 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/196854
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 38
  • Scopus 106
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 98
social impact