High-resolution cryo-EM structure of photosystem II reveals damage from high-dose electron beams

Koji Kato, Naoyuki Miyazaki, Tasuku Hamaguchi, Yoshiki Nakajima, Fusamichi Akita, Koji Yonekura, Jian Ren Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Photosystem II (PSII) plays a key role in water-splitting and oxygen evolution. X-ray crystallography has revealed its atomic structure and some intermediate structures. However, these structures are in the crystalline state and its final state structure has not been solved. Here we analyzed the structure of PSII in solution at 1.95 Å resolution by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The structure obtained is similar to the crystal structure, but a PsbY subunit was visible in the cryo-EM structure, indicating that it represents its physiological state more closely. Electron beam damage was observed at a high-dose in the regions that were easily affected by redox states, and reducing the beam dosage by reducing frames from 50 to 2 yielded a similar resolution but reduced the damage remarkably. This study will serve as a good indicator for determining damage-free cryo-EM structures of not only PSII but also all biological samples, especially redox-active metalloproteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number382
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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