Biochemistry

Cluster Analysis

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Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 15-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5578.15e

The oxygen that we breathe comes from the four-electron oxidation of two water molecules. This reaction is catalyzed by a cluster of four oxygen-bridged manganese atoms in photosystem II (PSII); their precise arrangement has not yet been determined. Following a suggestion that naturally occurring manganese oxide minerals may have been the source of the Mn4 cluster, Sauer and Yachandra have compiled a group of allowed geometries. Carrell et al. have summarized the extensive body of spectroscopic work on PSII and model compounds and list possible Mn4 structures that would fit within the 3.8-angstrom resolution electron density of the PSII complex. One of the mutually favored candidates is a funnel-shaped Mn4O6 core, containing a central tetrahedral manganese atom. — GJC

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.99, 8631 (2002); J. Biol. Inorg. Chem.7, 2 (2002).

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