Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 73–86 | Cite as

X-ray spectroscopy of the Mn4Ca cluster in the water-oxidation complex of Photosystem II

  • Kenneth SauerEmail author
  • Junko YanoEmail author
  • Vittal K. YachandraEmail author


The water-oxidation complex of Photosystem II (PS II) contains a heteronuclear cluster of 4 Mn atoms and a Ca atom. Ligands to the metal cluster involve bridging O atoms, and O and N atoms from amino acid side-chains of the D1 polypeptide of PS II, with likely additional contributions from water and CP43. Although moderate resolution X-ray diffraction-based structures of PS II have been reported recently, and the location of the Mn4Ca cluster has been identified, the structures are not resolved at the atomic level. X-ray absorption (XAS), emission (XES), resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) provide independent and potentially highly accurate sources of structural and oxidation-state information. When combined with polarized X-ray studies of oriented membranes or single-crystals of PS II, a more detailed picture of the cluster and its disposition in PS II is obtained.


EXAFS manganese cluster oxygen evolution Photosystem II water-oxidation X-ray dichroism X-ray spectroscopy 



electron paramagnetic resonance


extended X-ray absorption fine structure


Photosystem II


resonant inelastic X-ray scattering


X-ray absorption near-edge structure


X-ray absorption spectroscopy


X-ray emission spectroscopy


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Melvin Calvin Laboratory, Physical Biosciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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