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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2008 Sep;7(9):1085-90. doi: 10.1039/b809935a. Epub 2008 Aug 1.

Kinetics of inhibition of firefly luciferase by oxyluciferin and dehydroluciferyl-adenylate.

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  • 1Centro de Investigação em Química (UP), Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal.


The inhibition mechanisms of the firefly luciferase (Luc) by the two major products of the reactions catalysed by Luc, oxyluciferin and dehydroluciferyl-adenylate (L-AMP), were investigated. Light production in the presence and absence of these inhibitors (0.5 to 2 microM oxyluciferin; 0.0025 to 1.25 microM L-AMP) has been measured in 50 mM Hepes buffer (pH=7.5), 10 nM Luc, 250 microM ATP and D-Luciferin (from 3.75 up to 120 microM). Nonlinear regression analysis with the appropriate kinetic models (Henri-Michaelis-Menten and William-Morrison equations) reveals that oxyluciferin is a competitive inhibitor of luciferase (Ki=0.50+/-0.03 microM) while L-AMP act as a tight-binding competitive inhibitor (Ki=3.8+/-0.7 nM). The Km values obtained both for oxyluciferin and L-AMP were 14.7+/-0.7 and 14.9+/-0.2 microM, respectively. L-AMP is a stronger inhibitor of Luc than oxyluciferin and the major responsible for the characteristic flash profile of in vitro Luc bioluminescence.

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