The water-splitting reaction of photosynthesis is catalysed by photosystem II (PSII), a large protein complex located in thylakoid membranes of organisms ranging from cyanobacteria to higher plants . During the last 15 years, a number of crystal structures of PSII from cyanobacteria have been solved. However, no structures of PSII from eukaryots have been reported until now, partly due to the instability of eukaryotic PSII upon isolation. Ago et al.  solved the structure of PSII from a red alga Cyanidium caldarium at 2.76 Å resolution . This PSII contains four extrinsic proteins, including the three subunits found in cyanobacterial PSII and the fourth subunit PsbQ' homologous to the PsbQ protein of green algae and higher plants. Furthermore, two novel trans-membrane helices were found in the algal PSII which are not present in cyanobacterial PSII.
- Shen, J.-R. (2015) The structure of photosystem II and the mechanism of water oxidation in photosynthesis. Annual Review of Plant Biology 66, 23—48.
- Ago, H., Adachi, H., Umena, Y., Tashiro, T., Kawakami, K., Kamiya, N., Tian, L., Han, G., Kuang, T., Liu, Z., Wang, F., Zou, H., Enami, I., Miyano, M. and Shen, J.-R. (2016) Novel features of eukaryotic photosystem II revealed by its crystal structure analysis from a red alga. J. Biol. Chem., in press.