Luciferins


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Luciferins

 

the unsaturated organic compounds that constitute a part of natural systems of bioluminescence.

Granules containing luciferins are found in the cytoplasm of the photogenic (luminescent) cells of luminescent organisms. An oxidized form of luciferin, holding a larger energy reserve, forms under the influence of atmospheric oxygen in the presence of special enzymes called luciferases. The transition of the oxidized form from the excited state back to the original state is accompanied by the emission of light quanta. The most widely studied luciferins are heterocyclic compounds (substituted thiazoline carboxylic acid in beetles of the genus Photinus; oxidized tripep-tide in crayfish of the genus Cypridina; an indol derivative in sea feathers of the genus Renilla). Certain others are terpenoids (for example, in the mollusk Latia neritoides). In luminescent bacteria, the luciferins are flavin mononucleotides in combination with fatty aldehydes of the palmitic series. The enzymic oxidation of luciferins in insects occurs in several stages in the presence of adenosine triphosphate and magnesium ions.

REFERENCES

Bioliuminestsentsiia (collection of articles). Moscow, 1965.
Bioluminescence in Progress. Princeton, N. J., 1966.

E. P. SEREBRIAKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Da Silva, "Advances in the knowledge of light emission by firefly luciferin and oxyluciferin," Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, vol.
This discovery of the ninth luciferin brings us one step closer to the creation of a genetically modified, bioluminescent tree that could be used as a sustainable source of street lighting, according to the Guardian 's report.
It is possible that chaetognaths are unable to produce their own coelenterazine and rely on luciferin obtained from their diet, as has been found with other organisms (Tsuji et al., 1972; Haddock et al., 2001).
Luciferin and luciferase must be sequestered together in the particles, as suggested by the electron micrographs and the fact that liberated particles contain the constituents needed to produce light.
The enzymatically released luciferin can be quantified by the luciferase reaction.
The activity of synthesized luciferase is measured by its bioluminescent reaction with luciferin. The proposed system was evaluated by analyzing serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a model assay.