The quinolinate synthase of prokaryotes and photosynthetic eukaryotes, NadA, contains a [4Fe-4S] cluster with unknown function. We report crystal structures of Pyrococcus horikoshii NadA in complex with dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP), iminoaspartate analogues, and quinolinate. DHAP adopts a nearly planar conformation and chelates the [4Fe-4S] cluster via its keto and hydroxyl groups. The active site architecture suggests that the cluster acts as a Lewis acid in enediolate formation, like zinc in class II aldolases. The DHAP and putative iminoaspartate structures suggest a model for a condensed intermediate. The ensemble of structures suggests a two-state system, which may be exploited in early steps.