Crystal structure of Escherichia coli CyaY protein reveals a previously unidentified fold for the evolutionarily conserved frataxin family

Seung J. Cho, Myong Gyong Lee, Jin Kuk Yang, Jae Young Lee, Hyun Kyu Song, Se Won Suh

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Friedreich ataxia is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by defects in the FRDA gene, which encodes a mitochondrial protein called frataxin. Frataxin is evolutionarily conserved, with homologs identified in mammals, worms, yeast, and bacteria. The CyaY proteins of γ-purple bacteria are believed to be closely related to the ancestor of frataxin. In this study, we have determined the crystal structure of the CyaY protein from Escherichia coli at 1.4-Å resolution. It reveals a protein fold consisting of a six-stranded antiparallel β-sheet flanked on one side by two α-helices. This fold is likely to be shared by all members of the conserved frataxin family. This study also provides a framework for the interpretation of disease-associated mutations in frataxin and for understanding the possible functions of this protein family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8932-8937
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

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