I t remaine1:h now -in the next place to discourse o f the mines o f yron. a mettal which wee may well say is both the best and the worst implement used now in the world . . . . (1) PERSPECTIVES The history of civilization shows a long dependence on iron, particularly after the availability of iron for armaments increased (1). The evolution of organ289 0066-4154/87/0701-0289$02.00 THEIL isms also shows a long dependence on iron, even after the availability was diminished by dioxygen in the atmosphere (2). Ferritin maintains iron in an available, soluble form for use, e.g. in oxygen transfer, electron transfer, nitrogen fixation, and DNA synthesis (ribonucleotide reduction). The solubilÂ ity of iron probably became a problem ca 2.5 billion years ago when H20 began to be used as a source of hydrogen for photosynthesis (2). Dioxygen, the byproduct of such photosynthesis and probably the worst environmental pollutant of all time, created a dilemma for iron-dependent organisms: either move to environments devoid of dioxygen or accommodate to the low solubilÂ ity of Fe(III) produced by dioxygen from Fe(II). [Fe(III) is ca 10-9 X less soluble than Fe(II) (3). At concentrations greater than 10-18 M,
Annual Review of Biochemistry – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1987
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