Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Feb 18;131(6):2385-96. doi: 10.1021/ja808836b.

Spectroscopic studies of the light-color modulation mechanism of firefly (beetle) bioluminescence.

Author information

1
Department of Applied Physics and Chemistry, The University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan.

Abstract

To reveal the light-color modulation mechanism of firefly (beetle) bioluminescence, we investigated the spectroscopic properties of the phenolate anion 1-O(-) generated from 5,5-dimethyloxyluciferin (1-OH) using various base/solvent combinations. Phenolate anion 1-O(-) is a model compound for the keto form of wild-type oxyluciferin phenolate anion (OL(-)), which is postulated to be the emitter of the bioluminescence. The fluorescence maxima of 1-O(-) were found to depend on the base/solvent combination used, and they varied in the range 541-640 nm, which covers the almost whole range of the bioluminescence emission maximum. In a polar solvent, where (1)(1-O(-))* and the countercation (the conjugate acid of a base) make a solvent-separated ion pair or a free ion couple, the emission maxima of 1-O(-) were found to be modulated by the solvent polarity. In a less polar solvent, where (1)(1-O(-))* and the countercation are formed as a contact ion pair, the strength of the covalent character of the O8'...H bond between (1)(1-O(-))* and the countercation is operative. The effect of the base/solvent combination on the emission properties of (1)(1-O(-))* was also verified using fluorescence lifetime measurements and density functional theory calculations on 1-O(-) and its ion-pair models. On the basis of these results, we propose the following light-color modulation mechanism: (1) the light emitter is the excited singlet state of OL(-) [(1)(OL(-))*], and (2) light emission from (1)(OL(-))* is modulated by the polarity of the active-site environment of a luciferase and the degree of covalent character of the O8'...H bond between (1)(OL(-))* and a protonated basic moiety in the active site. Mechanisms for variation of the bioluminescence colors and their applications are discussed.

PMID:
19159303
DOI:
10.1021/ja808836b
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society
    Loading ...
    Support Center