Mitochondrial [2Fe-2S] cluster biosynthesis is driven by the coordinated activities of the Iron-Sulfur Cluster (ISC) pathway protein machinery. Within the ISC machinery, the protein that provides a structural scaffold on which [2Fe-2S] clusters are assembled is the ISCU protein in humans; this protein is referred to as the "Scaffold" protein. Truncation of the C-terminal portion of ISCU causes the fatal disease "ISCU Myopathy", which exhibits phenotypes of reduced Fe-S cluster assembly in cells. In this report, the yeast ISCU ortholog "Isu1" has been characterized to gain a better understanding of the role of the scaffold protein in relation to [2Fe-2S] assembly and ISCU Myopathy. Here the authors explored the biophysical characteristics of the C-terminal region of Isu1, the segment of the protein that is truncated on the human ortholog during the disease ISCU Myopathy. They characterized the role of this region in relation to iron binding, protein stability, assembly of the ISC multiprotein complex required to accomplish Fe-S cluster assembly, and finally on overall cell viability. The Isu1 C-terminus is essential for the completion of the Fe-S cluster assembly but serves a function independent of protein iron binding.

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