Active-site properties of Phrixotrix railroad worm green and red bioluminescence-eliciting luciferases
Journal of Biochemistry. Tokyo: Japanese Biochemical Soc, v. 140, n. 4, p. 467-474, 2006.
Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp)
Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)
Natl Inst Adv Sci & Technol
The luciferases of the railroad worm Phrixotrix (Coleoptera: Phengodidae) are the only beetle luciferases that naturally produce true red bioluminescence. Previously, we cloned the green- (PxGR) and red-emitting (PxRE) luciferases of railroad worms Phrixotrix viviani and P. hirtus[OLE1]. These luciferases were expressed and purified, and their active-site properties were determined. The red-emitting PxRE luciferase displays flash-like kinetics, whereas PxGR luciferase displays slow-type kinetics. The substrate affinities and catalytic efficiency of PxRE luciferase are also higher than those of PxGR luciferase. Fluorescence studies with 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid and 6-p-toluidino-2-naphthalene sulfonic acid showed that the PxRE luciferase luciferin-binding site is more polar than that of PxGR luciferase, and it is sensitive to guanidine. Alutagenesis and modelling studies suggest that several invariant residues in the putative luciferin-binding site of PxRE luciferase cannot interact with excited oxyluciferin. These results suggest that one portion of the luciferin-binding site of the red-emitting luciferase is tighter than that of PxGR luciferase, whereas the other portion could be more open and polar.