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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High-Resolution Structure of the Photosynthetic Mn4Ca Catalyst from X-ray Spectroscopy


The application of high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy methods to study the photosynthetic water oxidizing complex, which contains a unique hetero-nuclear catalytic Mn4Ca cluster, are described. Issues of X-ray damage especially at the metal sites in the Mn4Ca cluster are discussed. The structure of the Mn4Ca catalyst at high-resolution which has so far eluded attempts of determination by X-ray diffraction, EXAFS and other spectroscopic techniques has been addressed using polarized EXAFS techniques applied to oriented PS II membrane preparations and PS II single crystals. A review of how the resolution of traditional EXAFS techniques can be improved, using methods such as range-extended EXAFS is presented, and the changes that occur in the structure of the cluster as it advances through the catalytic cycle are described. X-ray absorption and emission techniques (XANES and K? emission) have been used earlier to determine the oxidation states of the Mn4Ca cluster, and in this report we review the use of X-ray resonant Raman spectroscopy to understand the electronic structure of the Mn4Ca cluster as it cycles through the intermediate S-states.

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