Dictionary > Luciferin

Luciferin

Definition
noun, plural: luciferins
A substrate for the enzyme luciferase, and whose reaction generates bioluminescence
Supplement
Some organisms are capable of producing and emitting light through natural biochemical reaction. Bioluminescence pertains to the capability of an organism to produce and emit light. One of the ways by which bioluminescent organisms emit light is through the luciferin-luciferase reaction system. In this system, luciferin serves as a substrate of luciferase. Luciferase is the enzyme that acts on the oxidation of luciferin. This ultimately results in the release of a photon. This is what is observed in fireflies. Accordingly, there are two main steps involved in firefly’s luciferin-luciferase reaction. The first step is luciferin reacting with ATP. This results in the production of luciferyl adenylate and PPi. The second step is the luciferyl adenylate reacting with oxygen (O2) resulting in the production of oxyluciferin in and AMP. The oxidation of luciferyl adenylate produces oxyluciferin in an electronically excited state and in order to return to its ground state it has to release photon (or light). The luciferin of the firefly is one of the well-known types of luciferin. The other forms of luciferins are vargulin of bioluminescent ostracods and Poricthys, coelenterazine of bioluminescent radiolarians, ctenophores, cnidarians, etc., bacterial (Photorhabdus) luciferin, etc.
Word origin: Latin lucifer (“light-bringer”)
Chemical formula: C11H8N2O3S2
See also:


You will also like...

Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
Temperature Regulation in Animals

This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication
Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication

Homeostasis is the relatively stable conditions of the internal environment that result from compensatory regulatory res..

Freshwater Ecology
Freshwater Ecology

Freshwater ecology focuses on the relations of aquatic organisms to their freshwater habitats. There are two forms of co..

Physical growth
Physical Development in Humans

This tutorial elaborates on the physical development of humans, particularly from puberty to adulthood. Read this tutori..

IQ, Creativity and Learning
IQ, Creativity and Learning

Human intelligence provided the means to utilize abstract ideas and implement reasoning. This tutorial takes a further l..

Thermographic image of face and neck
Regulation of Organic Metabolism, Growth and Energy Balance

The human body is capable of regulating growth and energy balance through various feedback mechanisms. Get to know the e..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics