, Volume 160, Issue 2–3, pp 159–166 | Cite as

Colocalization of luciferin binding protein and luciferase to the scintillons ofGonyaulax polyedra revealed by double immunolabeling after fast-freeze fixation

  • Marie -Thérèse Nicolas
  • D. Morse
  • Jean -Marie Bassot
  • J. Woodland Hastings
Original Papers


Two proteins,Gonyaulax luciferase and the luciferin binding protein, are involved in the bioluminescent reaction of the unicellular marine algaGonyaulax polyedra. Using antibodies raised separately against the purified proteins, their ultrastructural localizations were visualized by double immunogold labeling on sections after fast-freeze fixation, freeze-substitution and embedding in Epon or in LR White. Gold particles of two sizes attached to the secondary antibodies allowed the two primary antibodies to be distinguished. The two colocalized to cytoplasmic densifications (scintillons), which occurred in close association with the vacuolar membrane near the periphery of the cell. They also occurred in the cytoplasm of the Golgi area, either over densifications without associated membranes (prescintillons), or as very small colocalizations not associated with any evident cytoplasmic differentiation. No other site of colocalization was observed, thus unambiguously establishing the ultrastructural identity of the bioluminescent organelles.


Bioluminescence Dinoflagellates Fast-freeze fixation Gonyaulax Immunogold labeling 



fast-freeze fixation




immunogold staining


luciferin binding protein


phosphate buffered saline


tris-buffered saline


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie -Thérèse Nicolas
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Morse
    • 1
  • Jean -Marie Bassot
    • 2
  • J. Woodland Hastings
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Developmental BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Laboratoire de BioluminescenceCNRSParis

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