Monothiol glutaredoxins (Grxs) with a signature CGFS active site and BolA-like proteins have recently emerged as novel players in iron homeostasis. Elegant genetic and biochemical studies examining the functional and physical interactions of CGFS Grxs in the fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe have unveiled their essential roles in intracellular iron signaling, iron trafficking, and the maturation of Fe-S cluster proteins. Biophysical and biochemical analyses of the [2Fe-2S] bridging interaction between CGFS Grxs and a BolA-like protein in S. cerevisiae provided the first molecular-level understanding of the iron regulation mechanism in this model eukaryote and established the ubiquitous CGFS Grxs and BolA-like proteins as novel Fe-S cluster-binding regulatory partners. Parallel studies focused on Escherichia coli and human homologues for CGFS Grxs and BolA-like proteins have supported the studies in yeast and provided additional clues about their involvement in cellular iron metabolism. Herein, we review recent progress in uncovering the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which CGFS Grxs and BolA-like proteins help regulate iron metabolism in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms.
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