Recent progress in the crystallographic studies of photosystem II

Albert Guskov, Azat Gabdulkhakov, Matthias Broser, Carina Glöckner, Julia Hellmich, Jan Kern, Joachim Frank, Frank Müh, Wolfram Saenger, Athina Zouni

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88 Citations (Scopus)


The photosynthetic oxygen-evolving photosystem II (PSII) is the only known biochemical system that is able to oxidize water molecules and thereby generates almost all oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. The elucidation of the structural and mechanistic aspects of PSII keeps scientists all over the world engaged since several decades. In this Minireview, we outline the progress in understanding PSII based on the most recent crystal structure at 2.9 A resolution. A likely position of the chloride ion, which is known to be required for the fast turnover of water oxidation, could be determined in native PSII and is compared with work on bromide and iodide substituted PSII. Moreover, eleven new integral lipids could be assigned, emphasizing the importance of lipids for the perfect function of PSII. A third plastoquinone molecule (Q(C)) and a second quinone transfer channel are revealed, making it possible to consider different mechanisms for the exchange of plastoquinone/plastoquinol molecules. In addition, possible transport channels for water, dioxygen and protons are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1171
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26-Apr-2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Binding Sites
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Lipids
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Plastoquinone
  • Protein Conformation
  • Water

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