, Volume 98, Issue 1-3, pp 503-522
Date: 17 Sep 2008

Uncovering channels in photosystem II by computer modelling: current progress, future prospects, and lessons from analogous systems

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Even prior to the publication of the crystal structures for photosystem II (PSII), it had already been suggested that water, O2 and H+ channels exist in PSII to achieve directed transport of these molecules, and to avoid undesirable side reactions. Computational efforts to uncover these channels and investigate their properties are still at early stages, and have so far only been based on the static PSII structure. The rationale behind the proposals for such channels and the computer modelling studies thus far are reviewed here. The need to take the dynamic protein into account is then highlighted with reference to the specific issues and techniques applicable to the simulation of each of the three channels. In particular, lessons are drawn from simulation studies on other protein systems containing similar channels.