Stopped-flow kinetic analysis of the bacterial luciferase reaction. Academic Article uri icon


  • The kinetics of the reaction catalyzed by bacterial luciferase have been measured by stopped-flow spectrophotometry at pH 7 and 25 degrees C. Luciferase catalyzes the formation of visible light, FMN, and a carboxylic acid from FMNH2, O2, and the corresponding aldehyde. The time courses for the formation and decay of the various intermediates have been followed by monitoring the absorbance changes at 380 and 445 nm along with the emission of visible light using n-decanal as the alkyl aldehyde. The synthesis of the 4a-hydroperoxyflavin intermediate (FMNOOH) was monitored at 380 nm after various concentrations of luciferase, O2, and FMNH2 were mixed. The second-order rate constant for the formation of FMNOOH from the luciferase-FMNH2 complex was found to be 2.4 x 10(6) M-1 s-1. In the absence of n-decanal, this complex decays to FMN and H2O2 with a rate constant of 0.10 s-1. The enzyme-FMNH2 complex was found to isomerize prior to reaction with oxygen. The production of visible light reaches a maximum intensity within 1 s and then decays exponentially over the next 10 s. The formation of FMN from the intermediate pseudobase (FMNOH) was monitored at 445 nm. This step of the reaction mechanism was inhibited by high levels of n-decanal which indicated that a dead-end luciferase-FMNOH-decanal could form. The time courses for these optical changes have been incorporated into a comprehensive kinetic model. Estimates for 15 individual rate constants have been obtained for this model by numeric simulations of the various time courses.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Abu-Soud, H., Mullins, L. S., Baldwin, T. O., & Raushel, F. M.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Abu-Soud, H||Mullins, LS||Baldwin, TO||Raushel, FM

publication date

  • April 1992