Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 274, Issue 2, pp 180–188

Bacterial luciferase activity and the intracellular redox pool in Escherichia coli

Original Paper


In this study, we analyzed the activity of a bacterial luciferase (LuxAB of Vibrio fischeri) expressed under the control of a consensus-type promoter, lacUV5, in Escherichia coli, and found that activity declines abruptly upon entry into the stationary growth phase. Since this decline was reproducibly observed in strains cultured in various growth media, we refer to this phenomenon as ADLA (Abrupt Decline of Luciferase Activity) and define the time point when activity begins to decline as T0. Because the levels of luciferase proteins (LuxA and LuxB) remained constant before and after T0, ADLA cannot be due to the repression of luciferase gene expression. Further analyses suggested that a decline in the supply of intracellular reducing power for luciferase was responsible for ADLA. We also found that ADLA was alleviated or did not occur in several mutants deficient in nucleoid proteins, suggesting that ADLA is a genetically controlled process involved in intracellular redox flow.


Escherichia coli Growth phase transition Luciferase Nucleoid proteins Redox regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Molecular and Cellular BiosciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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