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...

Plant Water Regulation
Plant Water Regulation

Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

Photosynthesis and respiration
Plant Metabolism

Plants are responsible for incredible feats of molecular transformation. Plant processes, such as photosynthesis, photop..

3D rendering of an antibody
Passive and Active Types of Immunity

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell capable of producing a specific immune response to unique antigens. In thi..

Plant biology
Plant Biology

Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

Lights' Effect on Growth
Lights’ Effect on Growth

This tutorial elaborates on the effect of light on plant growth. It describes how different plants require different amo..