Cypridina Bioluminescence: Light-Emitting Oxyluciferin-Luciferase Complex

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Science  13 Jun 1969:
Vol. 164, Issue 3885, pp. 1299-1300
DOI: 10.1126/science.164.3885.1299


Fluorescence of Cypridina oxyluciferin is greatly enhanced when it is bound to luciferase; the spectrum is thereby shifted, so that it corresponds precisely to the emission spectrum characteristic of the bioluminescentoxidation of luciferin. Thus the oxyluciferin-luciferase complex is the lightemitter. The binding is equimolar, with dissociation constant KD equal to 3x 10-7 mole per liter. The molecular weight of the luciferase, according to three different methods, is between 52,000 and 57,000; molecular activities of luciferase for the bioluminescence reaction and for the hydrolysis of oxy-luciferin are 1600 and 2 per minute, respectively.

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