This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on Iron Sulfur Enzymes as part of a the Gordon Research Conference series to be held in Stonehill College (Easton, MA) on June 15-20, 2014 with a broad and long-term goal of bringing together the world's leading experts in iron-sulfur enzymes, focusing on enzymatic mechanisms, model complexes, biogenesis, and roles in regulation and human disease in a uniquely cross-disciplinary manner. First organized in 1994 to focus on nitrogenase and its unique iron-sulfur chemistry, knowledge about iron-sulfur clusters has grown exponentially in the last two decades and, in 2006, the name of the conference was changed accordingly to Gordon Conference on Iron-Sulfur Enzymes. The conference has tremendous breadth, featuring sessions on a wide range of iron-sulfur enzymes in unicellular organisms, animals and plants, which provide important insights into how these versatile proteins are synthesized and utilized. Proteins containing iron-sulfur cofactors perform a variety of biological functions, ranging across electron transfer, acid-base catalysis, and sensing where they are agents for cell regulation through transcription (DNA) or translation (RNA). They are redox catalysts for radical-based reactions and the activation of H2, N2 and CO2, processes that offer scientific and economic challenges for industry. Iron-sulfur centers provide the focus for fundamental investigations of chemical bonding, spectroscopy, structure and molecular mechanism, and their functions have numerous implications for health, medicine and applications for technology, including renewable energy.
The specific aim of this conference is to include young and distinguished speakers and discussion leaders from many fields, and topics will range from fundamental iron-sulfur chemistry, mechanistic investigation of iron-sulfur enzymes and iron-sulfur biogenesis to eukaryotic iron/sulfur metabolism and an emerging class of diseases related to abnormality of iron-sulfur biogenesis. The health relatedness of the meeting is clear, and mixing chemists, biochemists, structural biologists, molecular biologists and medical researchers together for the first time has the potential to catalyze progress in the field.
Iron-sulfur enzymes are essential for virtually all forms of life, and much progress has been made on understanding their special chemical attributes and their unique contributions to metabolism. The 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Iron-Sulfur Enzymes will highlight the recent progress on the fundamental chemistry and mechanistic understanding of iron-sulfur proteins, as well as the latest development in the area of eukaryotic iron/sulfur metabolism and diseases related to abnormality of iron-sulfur biogenesis. This is a unique opportunity to bring young and distinguished researchers of various disciplines and backgrounds together in a manner that will be conducive to creative thinking, which has the potential to catalyze significant progress in the field.