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Crossreactivity between the Light-Emitting Systems of Distantly Related Organisms: Novel Type of Light-Emitting Compound

Jay C. Dunlap, J. W. Hastings and Osamu Shimomura
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 77, No. 3, [Part 2: Biological Sciences] (Mar., 1980), pp. 1394-1397
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/8463
Page Count: 4
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Crossreactivity between the Light-Emitting Systems of Distantly Related Organisms: Novel Type of Light-Emitting Compound
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Abstract

Dinoflagellate luciferin has been found to crossreact and emit light with euphausid photoprotein; and euphausid fluorescent substance gives luminescence with dinoflagellate luciferase. Luciferin and the fluorescent substance, both highly unstable and fluorescent compounds, are bio-chemically similar but not identical. Preliminary spectral and chemical data suggest that both compounds contain an open-chain polypyrrole structure, novel among compounds so far known to be involved in light emission in any biological system. The dinoflagellates and euphausids are phylogenetically distant; the possibility that the latter obtain the molecule nutritionally from the former is suggested.

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