The catalytic cycle of photosynthetic water oxidation occurs at the Mn4CaO5 oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of photosystem II. Extensive spectroscopic data have been collected on the intermediates, especially the S2 (Kok) state, although the proton and electron inventories (Mn oxidation states) are still uncertain. The "high oxidation" paradigm assigns S2 Mn oxidation level (III, IV, IV, IV) or (IV, IV, IV, III), whereas a "low oxidation" paradigm posits two additional electrons. Here, we investigate the geometric (X-ray diffraction, extended X-ray absorption fine structure) and spectroscopic (electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR)) properties of the S2 state using quantum chemical density functional theory calculations, focusing on the neglected low paradigm. Two interconvertible electronic spin configurations are predicted as ground states, producing multiline (S = 1/2) and broad (S = 5/2) EPR signals in the low paradigm oxidation state (III, IV, III, III) and with W2 as OH- and O5 as OH-. They have "open" (S = 5/2) and "closed" (S = 1/2) Mn3CaO4-cubane geometries. Other energetically accessible isomers with ground spin states 1/2, 7/2, 9/2, or 11/2 can be obtained through perturbations of hydrogen-bonding networks (e.g., H+ from His337 to O3 or W2), consistent with experimental observations. Conformers with the low oxidation state configuration (III, IV, IV, II) also become energetically accessible when the protonation states are O5 (OH-), W2 (H2O), and neutral His337. The configuration with (III, IV, III, III) agrees well with earlier low-temperature EPR and ENDOR interpretations, whereas the MnII-containing configuration agrees partially with recent ENDOR data. However, the low oxidation paradigm does not yield isotropic ligand hyperfine interactions in good agreement with observed values. We conclude that the low Mn oxidation state proposal for the OEC can closely fit most of the available structural and electronic data for S2 at accessible energies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry