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  1. Abstract Background The production of methane by methanogens is dependent on numerous iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster proteins; yet, the machinery involved in Fe-S cluster biogenesis in methanogens remains largely unknown. Methanogen genomes encode uncharacterized homologs of the core components of the ISC (IscS and IscU) and SUF (SufBC) Fe-S cluster biogenesis systems found in bacteria and eukaryotes. Methanosarcina acetivorans contains three iscSU and two sufCB gene clusters. Here, we report genetic and biochemical characterization of M. acetivorans iscSU2 . Results Purified IscS2 exhibited pyridoxal 5′- phosphate-dependent release of sulfur from L-cysteine. Incubation of purified IscU2 with IscS2, cysteine, and iron (Fe 2+ ) resulted in the formation of [4Fe-4S] clusters in IscU2. IscU2 transferred a [4Fe-4S] cluster to purified M. acetivorans apo-aconitase. IscU2 also restored the aconitase activity in air-exposed M. acetivorans cell lysate. These biochemical results demonstrate that IscS2 is a cysteine desulfurase and that IscU2 is a Fe-S cluster scaffold. M. acetivorans strain DJL60 deleted of iscSU2 was generated to ascertain the in vivo importance of IscSU2. Strain DJL60 had Fe-S cluster content and growth similar to the parent strain but lower cysteine desulfurase activity. Strain DJL60 also had lower intracellular persulfide content compared to the parent strain whenmore »cysteine was an exogenous sulfur source, linking IscSU2 to sulfur metabolism. Conclusions This study establishes that M. acetivorans contains functional IscS and IscU, the core components of the ISC Fe-S cluster biogenesis system and provides the first evidence that ISC operates in methanogens.« less
  2. Two NNN pincer complexes of Cu( ii ) and Ni( ii ) with BPI Me − [BPI Me − = 1,3-bis((6-methylpyridin-2-yl)imino)isoindolin-2-ide] have been prepared and characterized structurally, spectroscopically, and electrochemically. The single crystal structures of the two complexes confirmed their distorted trigonal bipyramidal geometry attained by three equatorial N-atoms from the ligand and two axially positioned water molecules to give [Cu(BPI Me )(H 2 O) 2 ]ClO 4 and [Ni(BPI Me )(H 2 O) 2 ]ClO 4 . Electrochemical studies of Cu( ii ) and Ni( ii ) complexes have been performed in acetonitrile to identify metal-based and ligand-based redox activity. When subjected to a saturated CO 2 atmosphere, both complexes displayed catalytic activity for the reduction of CO 2 with the Cu( ii ) complex displaying higher activity than the Ni( ii ) analogue. However, both complexes were shown to decompose into catalytically active heterogeneous materials on the electrode surface over extended reductive electrolysis periods. Surface analysis of these materials using energy dispersive spectroscopy as well as their physical appearance suggests the reductive deposition of copper and nickel metal on the electrode surface. Electrocatalysis and decomposition are proposed to be triggered by ligand reduction, where complex stability is believedmore »to be tied to fluxional ligand coordination in the reduced state.« less