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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2012 Dec 5;117:33-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2012.08.017. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Advances in the knowledge of light emission by firefly luciferin and oxyluciferin.

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Centro de Investigação em Química, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal.


Firefly luciferase is the most important and studied bioluminescence system. Due to very interesting characteristics, this system has gained numerous biomedical, pharmaceutical and bioanalytical applications, among others. In order to improve the use of this system, various researchers have tried to understand experimentally the colour of bioluminescence, and to create ways of tuning the colour emitted. The objective of this manuscript is to review the experimental studies of firefly luciferin and oxyluciferin, and related analogues, fluorescence and bioluminescence.

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