Journal Article Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulation of the ligand vibrations of the water-oxidizing Mn4CaO5 cluster in photosystem II

Nakamura, Shin  ,  Noguchi, Takumi

113 ( 45 )  , pp.12727 - 12732 , 2016-11-08 , National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
During photosynthesis, the light-driven oxidation of water performed by photosystem II (PSII) provides electrons necessary to fix CO2, in turn supporting life on Earth by liberating molecular oxygen. Recent high-resolution X-ray images of PSII show that the water-oxidizing center (WOC) is composed of an Mn4CaO5 cluster with six carboxylate, one imidazole, and four water ligands. FTIR difference spectroscopy has shown significant structural changes of the WOC during the S-state cycle of water oxidation, especially within carboxylate groups. However, the roles that these carboxylate groups play in water oxidation as well as how they should be properly assigned in spectra are unresolved. In this study, we performed a normal mode analysis of the WOC using the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method to simulate FTIR difference spectra on the S1 to S2 transition in the carboxylate stretching region. By evaluating WOC models with different oxidation and protonation states, we determined that models of high-oxidation states, Mn(III)2Mn(IV)2, satisfactorily reproduced experimental spectra from intact and Ca-depleted PSII compared with low-oxidation models. It is further suggested that the carboxylate groups bridging Ca and Mn ions within this center tune the reactivity of water ligands bound to Ca by shifting charge via their π conjugation.

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