Mechanism of Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence Elucidated by Use of Oxygen-18
The purpose of this report is to summarize our recent studies designed to elucidate the mechanisms of several bio- and chemiluminescent systems. We are using oxygen-18 as tracer for events occurring on a molecular level during light emission. The accuracy and validity of the oxygen-18 methodology has been extensively examined. Some previously unpublished methodology is included in this report. We have studied the oxidation of firefly and sea pansy (Renilla reniformis) luciferin catalyzed by firefly and sea pansy luciferase (1,2) and also the oxidation of firefly luciferyl-adenylate in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide and potassium t-butoxide, chemiluminescence. (3) Our data indicate that striking similarities must exist in the mechanisms of bio- and chemiluminescence. We found that CO2 is produced during substrate oxida-tion and light emission in all these systems and that oxygen present in the CO2 arises from water rather than molecular oxygen. These findings have permitted us to develop new mechanisms for the oxidative reactions occurring during luminescence in these systems.
KeywordsQuantum Yield Reaction Vessel Water Oxygen Light Reaction Mass Spectral Analysis
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