Where plants make oxygen: a structural model for the photosynthetic oxygen-evolving manganese cluster

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Science  30 Apr 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5108, pp. 675-679
DOI: 10.1126/science.8480177


In the photosynthetic evolution of oxygen, water oxidation occurs at a catalytic site that includes four manganese atoms together with the essential cofactors, the calcium and chlorine ions. A structural model and a determination of the manganese oxidation states based on x-ray absorption spectroscopy are presented. The salient features, in both higher plants and cyanobacteria, are a pair of di-mu-oxo bridged manganese binuclear clusters linked by a mono-mu-oxo bridge, one proximal calcium atom, and one halide. In dark-adapted samples, manganese occurs in oxidation states (III) and (IV). Data from oriented membranes display distinct dichroism, precluding highly symmetrical structures for the manganese complex.