Cysteine desulfurase

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cysteine desulfurase
EC number2.8.1.7
IntEnzIntEnz view
ExPASyNiceZyme view
MetaCycmetabolic pathway
PDB structuresRCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum
Gene OntologyAmiGO / QuickGO

In enzymology, a cysteine desulfurase (EC is an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction

L-cysteine + [enzyme]-cysteine L-alanine + [enzyme]-S-sulfanylcysteine

Thus, the two substrates of this enzyme are L-cysteine and [enzyme]-cysteine], whereas its two products are L-alanine and [enzyme]-S-sulfanylcysteine.

This enzyme belongs to the family of transferases, specifically the sulfurtransferases, which transfer sulfur-containing groups. The systematic name of this enzyme class is L-cysteine:[enzyme cysteine] sulfurtransferase. Other names in common use include IscS, NIFS, NifS, SufS, and cysteine desulfurylase. This enzyme participates in thiamine metabolism.

Structural studies[edit]

As of late 2007, only one structure has been solved for this class of enzymes, with the PDB accession code 1T3I.


  • Zheng L, White RH, Cash VL, Jack RF, Dean DR (1993). "Cysteine desulfurase activity indicates a role for NIFS in metallocluster biosynthesis". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 90 (7): 2754–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.90.7.2754. PMC 46174. PMID 8464885.
  • Mihara H, Esaki N (2002). "Bacterial cysteine desulfurases: their function and mechanisms". Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 60 (1–2): 12–23. doi:10.1007/s00253-002-1107-4. PMID 12382038.
  • Frazzon J, Dean DR (2003). "Formation of iron-sulfur clusters in bacteria: an emerging field in bioinorganic chemistry". Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 7 (2): 166–73. doi:10.1016/S1367-5931(03)00021-8. PMID 12714048.