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Where Water Is Oxidized to Dioxygen: Structure of the Photosynthetic Mn4Ca Cluster

Junko Yano, Jan Kern, Kenneth Sauer,Matthew J. Latimer, Yulia Pushkar, Jacek Biesiadka, Bernhard Loll, Wolfram Saenger, Johannes Messinger, Athina Zouni, Vittal K. Yachandra


Science 3 November 2006:
Vol. 314. no. 5800, pp. 821 - 825


Until now, the precise structure of Mn4Ca has eluded all attempts of determination by x-ray diffraction and other spectroscopic techniques, in part because the metal catalyst is highly susceptible to radiation damage. To minimize radiation damage, the team used a novel combination of x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy measurements and x-ray diffraction data from crystallographic studies obtained at SSRL where the techniques used in this study were developed in collaboration with the LBNL scientists. This technique exposes the Mn4Ca cluster to much lower doses of radiation, and enabled the team to obtain three similar structures at a resolution much higher (~0.15 Å) than previously possible.

—Brad Plummer
    SLAC Today, November 29, 2006


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