Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44 (2005) pp. 6368-6379  |Previous Article| |Next Article|  |Table of Contents|
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Invited Review Paper

Basic and Applied Aspects of Color Tuning of Bioluminescence Systems

Yoshihiro Ohmiya

Research Institute for Cell Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Light and Control Research Area, PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 1-8-31 Midorigaoka, Ikeda, Osaka 563-8577, Japan

(Received January 21, 2005; accepted May 22, 2005; published September 8, 2005)

V. Viviani et al. [Biochemistry 38 (1999) 8271] were the first to succeed in cloning the red-emitting enzyme from the South American railroad worm, which is the only bioluminescent organism known to emit a red-colored light. The application of red bioluminescence has been our goal because the transmittance of longer-wavelength light is superior to that of the other colors for visualization of biological functions in living cells. Now, different color luciferases, which emit with wavelength maxima ranging from 400 to 630 nm, are available and are being used. For example, based on different color luciferases, Nakajima et al. developed a tricolor reporter in vitro assay system based on these different color luciferases in which the expression of three genes can be monitored simultaneously. On the other hand, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) is a natural phenomenon caused by the intermolecular interaction between a bioluminescent protein and a fluorophore on a second protein, resulting in the light from the bioluminescence reaction having the spectrum of the fluorophore. Otsuji et al. [Anal. Biochem. 329 (2004) 230] showed that the change in the efficiency of energy transfer in intramolecular BRET can quantify cellular functions in living cells. In this review, I introduce the basic mechanisms of color tuning in bioluminescent systems and new applications based on color tuning in the life sciences.

URL: http://jjap.jsap.jp/link?JJAP/44/6368/
DOI: 10.1143/JJAP.44.6368
KEYWORDS:bioluminescence, BRET, cell, color tuning, energy transfer, firefly, luciferase, luciferin, photoprotein, reporter assay


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