Time Courses and Time-Resolved Spectra of Firefly Bioluminescence Initiated by Two Methods of ATP Injection and Photolysis of Caged ATP



The time-dependent characteristics of firefly bioluminescence initiated by manual injection of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into buffer solution containing luciferin (Ln), luciferase (Luc) and Mg2+ were measured with a resolution of 10 ms, and compared with those obtained by photolysis of caged ATP. The time course depends on pH; both rise and decay rates decrease when pH is lowered from 7.8 to 6.8. In contrast, the parameter λ in the kinetic formula related to diffusion of ATP is almost independent of pH. The pH dependence of the time course of bioluminescence can be explained by the same pH tendency as the rate of ATP binding at the active site of Luc. The time-resolved spectra can be decomposed into two Gaussian components with maxima at 2.2 and 2.0 eV. At pH 7.8, the band at 2.2 eV is more intense than that at 2.0 eV for all three concentration conditions. At lower pH, the band at 2.2 eV becomes weaker than that at 2.0 eV. The intensity ratio of the 2.0 and 2.2 eV bands is constant for duration time of 600 s for both injection and photolysis experiments, and the above conclusions are unaffected by the concentration ratio [Ln]/[Luc].