PerspectiveInorganic Chemistry

A closer mimic of the oxygen evolution complex of photosystem II

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Science  08 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6235, pp. 635-636
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9094

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Summary

The oxygen evolution complex (OEC) in photosystem II (PSII) catalyzes the photosplitting of water. The resulting electrons and protons are then ultimately used to create adenosine triphosphate to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into organic compounds. An artificial catalyst that mimics the small inorganic OEC cluster within the much larger PSII enzyme could be used to create fuels such as hydrogen from water via sunlight (1). Although tremendous efforts have been spent on artificial photosynthesis systems (2), synthetic water oxidation catalysts that closely mimic the structure and function of OEC in PSII have been very limited. Now, on page 690 of this issue, Zhang et al. (3) describe the closest structural mimic of the OEC in PSII reported to date.