Theoretical Insight into the Emission Properties of the Luciferin and Oxyluciferin of Latia

Mohan Yu, Yoshihiro Ohmiya, Panče Naumov, Ya Jun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Latia neritoides is a small limpet-like snail that produces a bright green bioluminescence (BL) via a unique light-emitting system. The process, mechanism, and even light emitter of its light emission remain unknown, although this BL has been known for decades. Unlike the other BL systems, neither the luciferin (Luc) nor the oxyluciferin (OxyLuc) of Latia is fluorescent according to the previous experiments. To help to identify its bioluminophore, we studied the geometrical and electronic structures and absorption and fluorescence spectra of Latia Luc and its six analogs as well as its OxyLuc in the gas phase and in water. The calculated results provide clear evidence of the lack of fluorescence in the Luc and OxyLuc of Latia. For the analogs of Latia Luc, the electron-withdrawing or electron-donating ability of the substituted group affects the fluorescence. The results shed new light on the BL mechanism and will likely aid the understanding of Latia BL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-544
Number of pages5
JournalPhotochemistry and photobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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