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Sequence and biochemical similarities between the luciferases of the glowworm Lampyris noctiluca and the firefly Photinus pyralis

Sala-Newby, G. B., Thomson, Catherine M. and Campbell, Anthony Keith 1996. Sequence and biochemical similarities between the luciferases of the glowworm Lampyris noctiluca and the firefly Photinus pyralis. Biochemical Journal 313 , pp. 761-767.

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Abstract

A full-length clone encoding Lampyris noctiluca (British glow-worm) luciferase was isolated from a complementary DNA (cDNA) expression library constructed with mRNA extracted from light organs. The luciferase was a 547-residue protein, as deduced from the nucleotide sequence. The protein was closely related to those of other lampyrid beetles, the similarity to Photinus pyralis luciferase being 84% and to Luciola 67%. In contrast, Lampyris luciferase had less sequence similarity to the luciferases of the click beetle Pyrophorus, at 48%. Engineering Lampyris luciferase in vitro showed that the C-terminal peptide containing 12 amino acids in Photinus and 9 amino acids in Lampyris was essential for bioluminescence. The pH optimum and the Km values for ATP and luciferin were similar for both Photinus and Lampyris luciferases, although the light emitted by the latter shifted towards the blue and was less stable at 37 °C. It was concluded that the molecular and biochemical properties were not sufficient to explain the glowing or flashing of the two beetles Lampyris and Photinus.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Pharmacy
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Biochemical Society
ISSN: 0264-6021
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 02:58
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/22504

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