Okayama University


Mn4Ca-cluster Mimicking the Oxygen-evolving Center of Photosynthesis Synthesized

June 30, 2015

A collaborative research group of Okayama University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Free University Berlin has succeeded in synthesizing a Mn4Ca-cluster similar to the native oxygen-evolving center (OEC) of photosynthesis.

The findings were published on May 8, 2015 in the journal of Science.

Photosynthetic splitting of water into oxygen by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria is catalyzed by the OEC. Synthetic mimics of the OEC, composed of an asymmetric manganese-calcium-oxygen cluster bound to organic groups, may promote insight into the structural and chemical determinants of biological water oxidation.

The collaborative research group synthesized a Mn4Ca-cluster similar to the native OEC in both the metal-oxygen core and the binding ligand groups. The synthetic cluster can undergo four redox transitions and shows two magnetic resonance signals assignable to redox and structural isomerism like the native OEC. However, there are slight differences in the number of oxo-bridges between the metal ions and the water ligands between the native cluster and the synthetic one, which may be important for the activity of water oxidization.

The findings could provide a useful model system for the study of the mechanism of water oxidation in the native cluster and lead to the implementation of artificial photosynthesis.

Contact Information
Mototaka Senda, Ph.D.
Director, Okayama University Silicon Valley Office
Organization for Research Promotion and Collaboration, Okayama University
2450 Peralta Blvd. #119
Fremont, California USA
TEL: 1-510-396-2031
Email: takasenda(a)okayama-u.ac.jp
For inquiries, please contact us by replacing (a) with the @ mark.
Jian-Ren Shen, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Okayama Japan