So there is a molecular biology test coming up in 2 days and I’m on the last part of revision learning about how there are glowing squids and how fireflies glow! Could not resist but to listen to the amazing song by Owl City 🙂
There are 2 lux operons. the first encodes luxR, a protein required to activate the second lux operon which is comprised of the genes lux I C D A B E G… the luxI gene encodes the enzyme VAI ( Vibrio fischeri autoinducer) sythase. VAI binds to the luxR protein. This complex then binds to the promoter of the second lux operon and assists RNA polymerase to bind.
The operon is then transcribed, producing more luxI, which in turn produces more VAI. This is a process called autoregulation. The operon is responsible fore producing a chemical that activates the operon. Complex yet clever! (Bearing in mind what I wrote in my last blog, I think that we can if we have not already taken this idea and incorporate it into some mechanical technology?!)
One of the proteins encoded by the second lux operon is luciferase. Luciferase then metabolises luciferin to produce a luminescent chemical- the came chemical that makes glow worms and fireflies glow :). –> The more VAI produced, the more luciferase produce.
Info courtesy of Professor…