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Development of bioluminescent reagents for immunoassays, environmental analyisis and bioimaging

Abstract

Bioluminescence, the emission of cold, visible light by luciferin-luciferase reactions of certain organisms, has been used for several decades for bioanalytical purposes in scientific research, medical, industrial and environmental analysis. Luciferase enzymes from fireflies and their genes are used as luminescent reagents in kits, bioluminescent probes for cell labeling, biosensors, to assess water quality, microbiological contamination of food, beverages and other industrial products, disease diagnosis, and for antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer drugs by the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. In general, these applications use imported products and technologies. The Laboratory of Biochemistry and Bioluminescent Technologies at UFSCAR has been outstanding in the biochemical study of arthropod bioluminescence, especially the structure and function of luciferases cloned from bioluminescent beetles from Brazilian biomes, having identified the structural determinants of bioluminescence spectra, pH sensitivity and metals and their molecular evolution. Building on the knowledge generated with these enzymes, we are now developing luciferases with optimized light emission properties (catalytic efficiency, emission kinetics, bioluminescence spectra and sensitivity to pH and metals) for purposes of use as reagents, such as intracellular pH biosensors and heavy metal sensor proteins, such as reporter genes for bioimaging, and more recently for bioluminescent immunoassays, including diagnostic applications for SARS-Covid-2. In this project we plan to continue to develop more sensitive cadmium and mercury luciferases and field miniaturized bioluminescent biosensors based on smartphone technology, build new secondary antibodies for miniaturized bioluminescent immunoassays, and develop more efficient and far red shifted reporter genes for bioluminescence imaging purposes of biological and pathological processes in mammalian cells in biomedical research. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
VIVIANI, VADIM R.; ROSA, SIMONE P.; PRADO, ROGILENE A.; PELENTIR, GABRIEL F.; DE SOUZA, DANIEL R.; REIS, RAONE M.; BECHARA, E. J. H.; COSTA, C.. Inventory and ecological aspects of bioluminescent beetles in the Cerrado ecosystem and its decline around Emas National Park (Brazil). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, v. N/A, p. 18-pg., . (10/05426-8, 22/04800-0)

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