Structure of the Mn4–Ca cluster as derived from X-ray diffraction

Abstract

The catalytic centre for light-induced water oxidation in photosystem II (PSII) is a multinuclear metal cluster containing four manganese and one calcium cations. Knowing the structure of this biological catalyst is of utmost importance for unravelling the mechanism of water oxidation in photosynthesis. In this review we describe the current state of the X-ray structure determination at 3.0 Å resolution of the water oxidation complex (WOC) of PSII. The arrangement of metal cations in the cluster, their coordination and protein surroundings are discussed with regard to spectroscopic and mutagenesis studies. Limitations of the presently available structural data are pointed out and possible perspectives for the future are outlined, including the combination of X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectroscopy on single crystals.

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Abbreviations

Car:

Carotenoid

Chla :

Chlorophyll a

ETC:

Electron transfer chain

EXAFS:

Extended X-ray absorption fine structure

FTIR:

Fourier transform infrared

PbRC:

Purple bacterial reaction centre

Pheo:

Pheophytin a

RC:

Reaction centre

PSII:

Photosystem II

XAS:

X-ray absorption spectroscopy

WOC:

Water oxidizing complex

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dörte Difiore and Claudia Lüneberg for technical support and are grateful to Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for support in the frame of Sfb 498 (projects A4, C7), to Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and to the Max Planck Gesellschaft. Beam time and support at ESRF (Grenoble), SLS (Villigen), BESSY (Berlin), and DESY (Hamburg) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Kern, J., Biesiadka, J., Loll, B. et al. Structure of the Mn4–Ca cluster as derived from X-ray diffraction. Photosynth Res 92, 389–405 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-007-9173-1

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Keywords

  • Mn-cluster
  • Photosystem II
  • Radiation damage
  • Structure
  • Water oxidizing complex
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • X-ray diffraction