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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Oxyluciferin, a luminescence product of firefly luciferase, is enzymatically regenerated into luciferin.

The activity regenerating luciferin from the luminescent product oxyluciferin was found in the protein fraction of a lantern extract from Photinus pyralis. The protein, luciferin-regenerating enzyme (LRE), was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by successive column chromatography on Ultrogel AcA34, S-Sepharose FF, Q-Sepharose FF, TSKgel super Q 5pw and TSKgel G3000 SW(XL). This enzyme was a single polypeptide with a molecular mass of 38 kDa. LRE converted oxyluciferin to 2-cyano-6-hydroxybenzothiazole and thioglycolic acid. In the presence of d-cysteine, 2-cyano-6-hydroxybenzothiazole was turned over into luciferin. The same activities were detected in the extracts from two Japanese fireflies, Luciola cruciata and Luciola lateralis. We have cloned a cDNA encoding LRE from poly(A)+ RNA of the lantern of P. pyralis using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, 5'-RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) and 3'-RACE. The primary structure of LRE from P. pyralis deduced from the nucleotide sequence was shown to consist of 308 amino acids with a molecular weight of 33,619. The cDNA was successfully expressed under the control of the tac promoter in Escherichia coli.[1]


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