Reaction: [apoaequorin] + coelenterazine + O2 + 3 Ca2+ = [excited state blue fluorescent protein] + CO2 (overall reaction)
(1a) [apoaequorin] + coelenterazine = [apoaequorin containing coelenterazine]
(1b) [apoaequorin containing coelenterazine] + O2 = [aequorin]
(1c) [aequorin] + 3 Ca2+ = [aequorin] 1,2-dioxetan-3-one
(1d) [aequorin] 1,2-dioxetan-3-one = [excited state blue fluorescent protein] + CO2
Glossary: coelenterazine = 8-benzyl-2-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-6-(4-hydroxyphenyl)imidazo[1,2-a]pyrazin-3(7H)-one
coelenteramide = N-[3-benzyl-5-(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyrazin-2-yl]-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide
aequorin = the non-covalent complex formed by apoaequorin polypeptide and coelenterazine-2-hydroperoxide.
blue fluorescent protein = the non-covalent complex formed by Ca2+-bound apoaequorin polypeptide and coelenteramide
Other name(s): Ca2+-regulated photoprotein; calcium-activated photoprotein; aequorin; obelin; halistaurin; mitrocomin; phialidin; clytin; mnemiopsin; berovin
Systematic name: coelenterazine:oxygen 2-oxidoreductase (decarboxylating, calcium-dependent)
Comments: Ca2+-regulated photoproteins are found in a variety of bioluminescent marine organisms, mostly coelenterates, and are responsible for their light emission. The best studied enzyme is from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. The enzyme tightly binds the imidazolopyrazinone derivative coelenterazine, which is then peroxidized by oxygen. The hydroperoxide is stably bound until three Ca2+ ions bind to the protein, inducing a structural change that results in the formation of a 1,2-dioxetan-3-one ring, followed by decarboxylation and generation of a protein-bound coelenteramide in an excited state. The calcium-bound protein-product complex is known as a blue fluorescent protein. In vivo the energy is transferred to a green fluorescent protein (GFP) by Frster resonance energy transfer. In vitro, in the absence of GFP, coelenteramide emits a photon of blue light while returning to its ground state.
Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, CAS registry number:
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5. Deng, L., Vysotski, E.S., Markova, S.V., Liu, Z.J., Lee, J., Rose, J. and Wang, B.C. All three Ca2+-binding loops of photoproteins bind calcium ions: the crystal structures of calcium-loaded apo-aequorin and apo-obelin. Protein Sci. 14 (2005) 663-675. [PMID: 15689515]