, 22:99 | Cite as

Di-iron proteins of the Ric family are involved in iron–sulfur cluster repair

  • Marta C. Justino
  • Joana M. Baptista
  • Lígia M. SaraivaEmail author


A key element in eukaryotic immune defenses against invading microbes is the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. One of the main targets of these species are the iron–sulfur clusters, which are essential prosthetic groups that confer to proteins the ability to perform crucial roles in biological processes. Microbes have developed sophisticated systems to eliminate nitrosative and oxidative species and promote the repair of the damages inflicted. The Ric (Repair of Iron Centers) proteins constitute a novel family of microbial di-iron proteins with a widespread distribution among microbes, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, protozoa and fungi. The Ric proteins are encoded by genes that are up-regulated by nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide. Recent studies have shown that the active di-iron center is involved in the restoration of Fe–S clusters damaged by exposure to nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide.


Iron–sulfur Di-iron Stress Bacteria 



Dinitrosyl iron complexes




Extended X-ray absorption fine structure






Nitric oxide






Repair of iron centers proteins


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species






X-ray absorption spectroscopy



This work was supported by FCT project POCI/SAU-IMI/56088/2004. MCJ is recipient of the SFRH/BPD/43172/2008 grant and JMB is recipient of the SFRH/BD/41209/2007 grant from FCT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta C. Justino
    • 1
  • Joana M. Baptista
    • 1
  • Lígia M. Saraiva
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Tecnologia Química e BiológicaUniversidade Nova de LisboaOeirasPortugal

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