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Oxyluciferin Photoacidity: The Missing Element for Solving the Keto–Enol Mystery?

Authors

  • Dr. Luís Pinto da Silva,

    1. Centro de Investigação em Química, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal), Fax: (+351) 220 402 659
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  • Dr. Ron Simkovitch,

    1. Raymond and Beverly Sackler Facult y of Exact Sciences, School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel)
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  • Prof. Dr. Dan Huppert,

    1. Raymond and Beverly Sackler Facult y of Exact Sciences, School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel)
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  • Prof. Dr. Joaquim C. G. Esteves da Silva

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Investigação em Química, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal), Fax: (+351) 220 402 659
    • Centro de Investigação em Química, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal), Fax: (+351) 220 402 659

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Abstract

The oxyluciferin family of fluorophores has been receiving much attention from the research community and several systematic studies have been performed in order to gain more insight regarding their photophysical properties and photoprotolytic cycles. In this minireview, we summarize the knowledge obtained so far and define several possible lines for future research. More importantly, we analyze the impact of the discoveries on the firefly bioluminescence phenomenon made so far and explain how they re-open again the discussion regarding the identity (keto or enol species) of the bioluminophore.

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