Jun 13, 2019

Water oxidation in photosystem II

Photosynthesis Research
Wolfgang LubitzNicholas Cox


Biological water oxidation, performed by a single enzyme, photosystem II, is a central research topic not only in understanding the photosynthetic apparatus but also for the development of water splitting catalysts for technological applications. Great progress has been made in this endeavor following the report of a high-resolution X-ray crystallographic structure in 2011 resolving the cofactor site (Umena et al. in Nature 473:55-60, 2011), a tetra-manganese calcium complex. The electronic properties of the protein-bound water oxidizing Mn4OxCa complex are crucial to understand its catalytic activity. These properties include: its redox state(s) which are tuned by the protein matrix, the distribution of the manganese valence and spin states and the complex interactions that exist between the four manganese ions. In this short review we describe how magnetic resonance techniques, particularly EPR, complemented by quantum chemical calculations, have played an important role in understanding the electronic structure of the cofactor. Together with isotope labeling, these techniques have also been instrumental in deciphering the binding of the two substrate water molecules to the cluster. These results are briefly described in the ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Chloroplast Photosystem I
Crystallography, X-Ray
X-Ray Diffraction
Isotope Labeling

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