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The photosynthetic processes that lead to water oxidation involve an evolution in time from photon dynamics to photochemically-driven electron transfer to coupled electron/proton chemistry. The redox-active tyrosine, Y(Z), is the component at which the proton currents necessary for water oxidation are switched on. The thermodynamic and kinetic implications(More)
Recent magnetic-resonance work on YŻ suggests that this species exhibits considerable motional flexibility in its functional site and that its phenol oxygen is not involved in a well-ordered hydrogen-bond interaction (Tang et al., submitted; Tommos et al., in press). Both of these observations are inconsistent with a simple electron-transfer function for(More)
Catalytically essential side-chain radicals have been recognized in a growing number of redox enzymes. Here we present a novel approach to study this class of redox cofactors. Our aim is to construct a de novo protein, a radical maquette, that will provide a protein framework in which to investigate how side-chain radicals are generated, controlled, and(More)
Enzymes that require a redox-active amino acid for catalysis or function have emerged as a distinct class of proteins. For the tyrosine-based radical enzymes, we show that the spin-density distribution in the radical follows an odd alternate pattern that is invariant to within 10% across the class. General properties of the radical enzymes are summarized(More)
The oxidizing side of photosystem II contains two redox-active tyrosyl side chains, TyrZ and TyrD, and a cluster of Mn atoms involved in water oxidation. The structural environment of these components is unknown, and with computer-assisted modeling we have created a three-dimensional model for the structures around TyrZ and TyrD [Svensson et al. (1990) EMBO(More)
De novo protein design and electrochemistry were used to measure changes in the potential and pK(A) of a phenol when its OH group is moved from a solvent-exposed to a sequestered protein position. A "phenol rotation strategy" was adopted in which phenols, containing a SH in position 4, 3, or 2 relative to the OH group, were bound to a buried protein site.(More)
Photosystem II evolves oxygen by using water in the unlikely role of a reductant. The absorption of sunlight by chlorophyll produces highly oxidizing equivalents that are filled with electrons stripped from water. This proton-coupled redox chemistry occurs at the oxygen-evolving complex, which contains a tetramanganese cluster, a redox-active tyrosine amino(More)
The use of side chains as catalytic cofactors for protein mediated redox chemistry raises significant mechanistic issues as to how these amino acids are activated toward radical chemistry in a controlled manner. De novo protein design has been used to examine the structural basis for the creation and maintenance of a tryptophanyl radical in a three-helix(More)
Amino-acid radicals are involved in the catalytic cycles of a number of enzymes. The main focus of this mini-review is to discuss the function and properties of tyrosyl radical cofactors. We start by briefly summarizing the experimental studies that led to the detection and identification of the two redox-active tyrosines, denoted Y(Z) and Y(D), found in(More)
When photosynthetic organisms developed so that they could use water as an electron source to reduce carbon dioxide, the stage was set for efficient proliferation. Algae and plants spread globally and provided the foundation for our atmosphere and for O(2)-based chemistry in biological systems. Light-driven water oxidation is catalysed by photosystem II,(More)