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Biochemistry. 1998 May 19;37(20):7340-50.

Structure and orientation of the oxygen-evolving manganese complex of green algae and higher plants investigated by X-ray absorption linear dichroism spectroscopy on oriented photosystem II membrane particles.

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  • 1FB Biologie/Botanik and FB Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.


X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Mn K-edge has been performed on multilayers of photosystem II-enriched fragments of the native thylakoid membrane prepared from a higher plant (spinach) and a unicellular green alga (Scenedesmus obliquus). Spectra collected for various angles between the prevailing orientation of the thylakoid membrane normal and the X-ray electric field vector contain information on the atomic structure of the tetranuclear manganese complex of photosystem II (PS II) and its orientation with respect to the membrane normal. The previously used approach for evaluation of the dichroism of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra [George, G. N., et al. (1989) Science 243, 789-791] is modified, and the following results are obtained for PS II in its dark-stable state (S1-state): (1) structure and orientation of the PS II manganese complexes of green algae and higher plants are highly similiar or fully identical; (2) two 2.7-A vectors, which, most likely, connect the Mn nuclei of a planar Mn2(mu-O2) structure, are at an average angle of 80 degrees +/- 10 degrees with respect to the thylakoid normal; (3) the plane of the Mn2(mu-O2) structures is rather in parallel with the thylakoid plane than perpendicular. Structural models for the oxygen-evolving manganese complex and its orientation in the thylakoid membrane are discussed within the context of the presented results.

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