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Coelenterazine distribution and luciferase characteristics in oceanic decapod crustaceans

Thomson, Catherine M., Herring, P. J. and Campbell, Anthony Keith 1995. Coelenterazine distribution and luciferase characteristics in oceanic decapod crustaceans. Marine Biology 124 (2) , pp. 197-207. 10.1007/BF00347123

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Coelenterazine biosynthesis has recently been demonstrated in the developing eggs of the decapod Systellaspis debilis. The cellular source of coelenterazine and the potential for biosynthesis in adult decapods, however, have not been fully investigated. We have conducted a systematic study of coelenterazine content in >230 individual decapods representing 19 species of Oplophoridae and 22 species from other families. We show for the first time that coelenterazine is responsible for both secretory and photophore luminescence in the same decapod. Tissues associated with secretory luminescence (hepatopancreas and stomach) in the Oplophoridae contained almost 3 orders of magnitude more coelenterazine (mean value=2154 pmol per specimen) than cuticular photophores (mean value=8 pmol per specimen). Coelenterazine content increases by 2 to 4 orders of magnitude during the development of three species of Oplophoridae. Species of Oplophoridae contain an order of magnitude more coelenterazine than those of other families (mean value=154 pmol per specimen). Coelenterazine was also detected in 11 apparently nonluminous decapod species (mean value=200 pmol per specimen). S. debilis luciferase characterisation enabled a luciferase assay to be developed to facilitate studies of the environmental control of bioluminescence. We hypothesise that the coelenterazine requirement in secretory bioluminescence exceeds that which could be assimilated from the food-chain. The significant increase of coelenterazine during the life cycle of secretory decapods supports this hypothesis. Putative evidence for environmental control of coelenterazine luminescence is also reported.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0025-3162
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 02:58

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