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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 3647657, 12 pages
Review Article

Fe-S Clusters Emerging as Targets of Therapeutic Drugs

1CNRS UMR 3348, Centre Universitaire, 91405 Orsay, France
2Institut Curie, PSL Research University, UMR 3348, 91405 Orsay, France
3Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Centre Universitaire, UMR 3348, 91405 Orsay, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Laurence Vernis; rf.eiruc@sinrev.ecnerual

Received 27 September 2017; Revised 27 November 2017; Accepted 6 December 2017; Published 28 December 2017

Academic Editor: Serafina Perrone

Copyright © 2017 Laurence Vernis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fe-S centers exhibit strong electronic plasticity, which is of importance for insuring fine redox tuning of protein biological properties. In accordance, Fe-S clusters are also highly sensitive to oxidation and can be very easily altered in vivo by different drugs, either directly or indirectly due to catabolic by-products, such as nitric oxide species (NOS) or reactive oxygen species (ROS). In case of metal ions, Fe-S cluster alteration might be the result of metal liganding to the coordinating sulfur atoms, as suggested for copper. Several drugs presented through this review are either capable of direct interaction with Fe-S clusters or of secondary Fe-S clusters alteration following ROS or NOS production. Reactions leading to Fe-S cluster disruption are also reported. Due to the recent interest and progress in Fe-S biology, it is very likely that an increasing number of drugs already used in clinics will emerge as molecules interfering with Fe-S centers in the near future. Targeting Fe-S centers could also become a promising strategy for drug development.