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Circadian dependence on the production of intermediates involved in the fungal luciferin biosynthesis

Grant number: 17/10683-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Radiology and Photobiology
Principal researcher:Cassius Vinicius Stevani
Grantee:Bianca de Barros Nóbrega
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Bioluminescent fungi emit light according to a circadian rhythm, with the maximum emission at night to save energy during the day. Results obtained from ecological studies strongly indicate that light emission would have the function of attracting arthropods, for spore dispersion. Light emission occurs through the reaction of luciferin (3-hydroxyhispidin) with luciferase, yielding an endoperoxide as high-energy intermediate, whose decomposition results in oxyluciferin and light emission. Oxyluciferin, caffeylpyruvate, is recycled to caffeic acid by a hydrolase. Both rhythm, function and mechanism of light emission were described by our group. With the results obtained, it will now be possible to study how the circadian rhythm affects the expression and activity of the involved enzymes as well as the biosynthesis of the fungal luciferin intermediates, namely p-coumaric and caffeic acids, bisnoryangonin, hispidin and oxyluciferin. This project aims to further investigate whether the biosynthesis of fungal luciferin intermediates and the recycling of oxyluciferin also follow a circadian rhythm. (AU)

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