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- An ancestral luciferase in the Malpighi tubules of a non-bioluminescent beetle!
- Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)
- Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
- The evolutionary origin of beetle bioluminescence is enigmatic. Previously, weak luciferase activity was found in the non-bioluminescent larvae of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), but the detailed tissular origin and identity of the luciferase-like enzyme remained unknown. Using a closely related giant mealworm, Zophobas morio, here we show that the luciferase-like enzyme is located in the Malpighi tubules. cDNA cloning of this luciferase like enzyme, showed that it is a short AMP-ligase with weak luciferase activity which diverged long ago from beetle luciferases. The results indicate that the potential for bioluminescence in AMP-ligases is very ancient and provide a first reasonable protoluciferase model to investigate the origin and evolution of beetle luciferases.
- Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. Cambridge: Royal Soc Chemistry, v. 8, n. 1, p. 57-61, 2009.
- Royal Soc Chemistry
- Acesso restrito
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