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Radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) Superfamily

  1. Christine E Farrar,
  2. Joseph T Jarrett

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020547



How to Cite

Farrar, C. E. and Jarrett, J. T. 2007. Radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) Superfamily. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (14 NOV 2014)


A large superfamily of enzymes use S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to generate high-energy carbon radicals as intermediates in a variety of metabolic and biosynthetic reactions. Despite the diverse reactions catalysed, members of the SAM radical superfamily share a similar structural topology that facilitates the mechanistically important interaction of SAM with an iron–sulfur cluster.


  • iron–sulfur cluster;
  • adenosylmethionine;
  • enzyme mechanism;
  • protein structure