Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gene. 1990 Dec 15;96(2):257-62.

Vargula hilgendorfii luciferase: a secreted reporter enzyme for monitoring gene expression in mammalian cells.

Author information

  • 1Osaka Bioscience Institute, Japan.


The small marine ostracod crustacean, Vargula hilgendorfii, produces a bright blue luminous secretion which is ejected into seawater. The luminescence is due to a simple enzyme-catalyzed reaction involving only luciferase, luciferin (substrate), and molecular oxygen. Thus, V. hilgendorfii luciferase (VL) should be useful as a reporter enzyme in studies of gene expression in mammalian cells. Expression plasmids consisting of VL cDNA (vl) linked to the promoters simian virus 40 early region, Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat, human elongation factor, or mouse granulocyte colony-stimulating factor were introduced into a series of mammalian cell lines. Following transfection, VL activities in cell extracts and culture media were determined by a rapid light emission assay with V. hilgendorfii luciferin. Parallel experiments were carried out with the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT)-encoding gene. In all cell lines tested, VL was secreted, allowing the reporter activity to be determined directly from a small aliquot of the culture medium. The results indicate that the secreted VL enzyme is superior to CAT, firefly luciferase, and bacterial luciferase as a convenient and versatile indicator of gene expression in mammalian cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk