Reaction: D-firefly luciferin + O2 + ATP = firefly oxyluciferin + CO2 + AMP + diphosphate + hν
For diagram of reaction, click here
Glossary: D-firefly luciferin = Photinus-luciferin = (S)-4,5-dihydro-2-(6-hydroxy-1,3-benzothiazol-2-yl)thiazole-4-carboxylate
firefly oxyluciferin = 4,5-dihydro-2-(6-hydroxy-1,3-benzothiazol-2-yl)thiazol-4-one
Other name(s): Photinus-luciferin 4-monooxygenase (ATP-hydrolysing); luciferase (firefly luciferin); Photinus luciferin 4-monooxygenase (adenosine triphosphate-hydrolyzing); firefly luciferin luciferase; Photinus pyralis luciferase; Photinus-luciferin:oxygen 4-oxidoreductase (decarboxylating, ATP-hydrolysing)
Systematic name: D-firefly luciferin:oxygen 4-oxidoreductase (decarboxylating, ATP-hydrolysing)
Comments: The enzyme, which is found in fireflies (Lampyridae), is responsible for their biolouminescence. The reaction begins with the formation of an acid anhydride between the carboxylic group of D-firefly luciferin and AMP, with the release of diphosphate. An oxygenation follows, with release of the AMP group and formation of a very short-lived peroxide that cyclizes into a dioxetanone structure, which collapses, releasing a CO2 molecule. The spontaneous breakdown of the dioxetanone (rather than the hydrolysis of the adenylate) releases the energy (about 50 kcal/mole) that is necessary to generate the excited state of oxyluciferin. The excited luciferin then emitts a photon, returning to its ground state. The enzyme has a secondary acyl-CoA ligase activity when acting on L-firefly luciferin (see EC 22.214.171.124).
Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 61970-00-1
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