A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of rieske and rieske-type iron-sulfur proteins

Christian L. Schmidt*, Lee Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work
51 Citations (Scopus)


The Rieske iron-sulfur center consists of a [2Fe-2S] cluster liganded to a protein via two histidine and two cysteine residues present in conserved sequences called Rieske motifs. Two protein families possessing Rieske centers have been defined. The Rieske proteins occur as subunits in the cytochrome bc1 and cytochrome b6f complexes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes or form components of archaeal electron transport systems. The Rieske-type proteins encompass a group of bacterial oxygenases and ferredoxins. Recent studies have uncovered several new proteins containing Rieske centers, including archaeal Rieske proteins, bacterial oxygenases, bacterial ferredoxins, and, intriguingly, eukaryotic Rieske oxygenases. Since all these proteins contain a Rieske motif, they probably form a superfamily with one common ancestor. Phylogenetic analyses have, however, been generally limited to similar sequences, providing little information about relationships within the whole group of these proteins. The aim of this work is, therefore, to construct a dendrogram including representatives from all Rieske and Rieske-type protein classes in order to gain insight into their evolutionary relationships and to further define the phylogenetic niches occupied by the recently discovered proteins mentioned above.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)9-26
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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