Density functional and electrostatic methods have been applied to calculate active site geometries and the redox potential of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). The initial active site clusters were built up by including only first-shell side chain ligands and then augmented by second-shell ligands. The density functional optimized Mn-ligand bond lengths for the reduced complexes in general compared fairly well with protein crystallography data; however, large deviations for calculated Mn-OH distances were found for the oxidized active site clusters. Our calculations suggest that this deviation can be attributed to the redox heterogeneity of the oxidized protein in X-ray crystallography studies. The redox potential was calculated by treating the protein environment and the solvent bulk by a semimacroscopic electrostatic model. The protein structures were taken from the Thermus thermophilus enzyme. The calculated coupled redox potentials converge toward experimental values with increasing size of the active site cluster models, and the final calculated value was +0.06 V, compared to experimental values of +0.26 V determined for Bacillus stearothermophilus and +0.31 V in Escherichia coli enzymes. Using an energy decomposition scheme, the effects of the second-shell ligands and the protein and reaction fields have been analyzed.