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Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics. 2013 Mar;8(1):82-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cbd.2012.12.001. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

A transcriptional survey of the cDNA library of Macrolampis sp2 firefly lanterns (Coleoptera: Lampyridae).

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1
Graduate Program of Biotechnology and Environmental Monitoring, Campus of Sorocaba, Federal University of São Carlos, Rodovia João Leme dos Santos, Itinga, SP, Brazil. viviani@ufscar.br

Abstract

The biochemistry of firefly bioluminescence is well understood; however, the molecular physiology of the lanterns is still poorly studied, especially the biosynthesis and origin of beetle luciferin which are almost unknown. Using a cDNA library previously constructed from Macrolampis sp2 lanterns, we randomly selected and sequenced 572 cDNAs in order to have a first transcriptional profile of the most represented messages found in the lanterns and therefore to better understand their molecular physiology. As expected, high percentage of the gene products (~22%) displayed high similarity with Coleoptera genome products. About 7% represented mitochondrial genes, including several copies of cytochrome oxidase, which are also expected for this tissue. Luciferase genes were especially abundant, representing ca 2% of the products. Gene products involved with cysteine and sulfur metabolism such as the cystathionine β-lyase and the S-adenosylmethionine synthetase were abundant. Noteworthy, an abundance of proteins involved with hormone metabolism was found, suggesting a possible link between bioluminescence and hormone metabolism.

PMID:
23299360
DOI:
10.1016/j.cbd.2012.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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