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The Chemistry of Bioluminescence: An Analysis of Chemical Functionalities
  AlbaNova and Nordita Colloquium 2011

Wednesday 25 January 2012
from 11:00 to 12:00
at RB15
Speaker : Roland Lindh (Uppsala University)
Abstract : Firefly luciferase is one of the most studied bioluminescent system. It has been extensively studied both theoretically and experimentally. Based on these studies we will herein give a review on the current understanding of the bioluminescent process from a chemical functionality perspective. This presentation will emphasize three key components: the chemiluminophore, the electron-donating fragment and how these are affected by the substrate-enzyme interaction. The understanding is based on details of how the peroxide -O-O- bond supports the production of electronically excited products and how the Charge Transfer Induced Luminescent, CTIL, mechanism, with the aid of an electron-donating group, lowers the activation barrier, to support a reaction in living organisms. For the substrate-enzyme complex it is demonstrated that the enzyme can affect the hydrogen-bonding around the CTIL controlling group resulting in a mechanism for color modulation. Finally, in the light of the purpose of the fragments of the luciferin-luciferase complex to provide key chemical functionalities we will analyse other luciferin-luciferase systems with respect to similarities and differences. If time available I will discuss the significance of the difference between the chemiluminescent and fluorescent states of luciferin and its implications for theoretical and experimental investigations.

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