A review is given of certain aspects of manganese-containing enzymes,
such as manganese superoxide dismutase, manganese catalase, and the ph
otosynthetic oxygen-evolving catalyst. A variety of manganese complexe
s have been synthesized to model either the structure of the active si
te of these enzymes (structural models), or their function (functional
models). Most of the enzymatic reactions can be mimicked by functiona
l models, albeit at much lower reaction rates. Additionally, a number
of manganese complexes based on the structural mimics, have been studi
ed as catalysts in oxidation reactions other than the enzymatic ones.
Examples of functional models for superoxide dismutase, catalase and t
he water oxidation catalyst in plants, as well as a number of manganes
e complexes catalyzing a variety of other oxidation reactions, are als
o discussed in this review.