Water-oxidizing complex in Photosystem II: Its structure and relation to manganese-oxide based catalysts

Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour, Ivelina Zaharieva, Zahra Zand, Seyedeh Maedeh Hosseini, Margarita Kouzmanova, Małgorzata Hołyńska, Ionuţ Tranca, Anthony W. Larkum, Jian Ren Shen, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific reviewpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Cyanobacteria, green algae, and higher plants provide the major part of molecular O2 of Earth atmosphere via water oxidation of oxygenic photosynthesis. The water-oxidizing complex is a manganese-calcium oxide-based cluster embedded in Photosystem II that oxidizes water with high turnover frequency. The atomic structure and analysis of the Mn-Ca cluster are important in understanding the mechanism of water oxidation and for the design of efficient artificial water-oxidizing catalysts. With this short review, we aim to introduce the basic features of the biological water oxidation to the new-comers in the field. Taking into account the recent structural studies, including a high-resolution, radiation-damage-free structure of the water-oxidizing complex, and structures of intermediate S-states revealed by femtosecond X-ray free electron lasers, we discuss the structure and functions of the biologically active site and its implications for the development of inorganic catalysts for solar fuels production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213183
Number of pages14
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Manganese-calcium cluster
  • Manganese-oxide catalysts
  • Oxygen-evolving complex
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosystem II
  • Water oxidation


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