Free Content Chemistry and Control of Luminescence in Marine Organisms

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Bioluminescence occurs in very many different marine organisms. The reaction is an enzyme (luciferase) mediated chemiluminescence in which a substrate (luciferin) is oxidized by molecular oxygen; energy thereby available is conserved in the form of a molecule in an electronically excited (singlet) state which subsequently emits light. The luciferins and luciferases utilized in different organisms may be very different, but all known luciferases may be classed as oxygenases, involving peroxides (in some cases ring peroxides) as intermediates; in some cases electron transfer has been postulated in the terminal steps leading to excitation. The cellular control of bioluminescent reactions involves special mechanisms such as the sequestration of substrate by a binding protein or the accumulation ofa reaction intermediate, and a triggering step, as for example by H+ or Ca++.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1983

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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