The product of the miaB gene, MiaB, from Escherichia coli participates in the methylthiolation of the adenosine 37 residue during modification of tRNAs that read codons beginning with uridine. A His-tagged version of MiaB has been overproduced and purified to homogeneity. Gel electrophoresis and size exclusion chromatography revealed that MiaB protein is a monomer. As isolated MiaB contains both iron and sulfide and an apoprotein form can chelate as much as 2.5-3 iron and 3-3.5 sulfur atoms per polypeptide chain. UV-visible and EPR spectroscopy of MiaB indicate the presence of a [4Fe-4S] cluster under reducing and anaerobic conditions, whereas [2Fe-2S] and [3Fe-4S] forms are generated under aerobic conditions. Preliminary site-directed mutagenesis studies suggest that Cys(157), Cys(161), and Cys(164) are involved in iron chelation and that the cluster is essential for activity. Together with the previously shown requirement of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) for the methylthiolation reaction, the finding that MiaB is an iron-sulfur protein suggests that it belongs to a superfamily of enzymes that uses [Fe-S] centers and AdoMet to initiate radical catalysis. MiaB is the first and only tRNA modification enzyme known to contain an Fe-S cluster.