from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A protein secreted by certain jellyfish that interacts with seawater to produce bioluminescent light.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun biochemistry A
photoprotein, isolatedfrom luminescent jellyfishand other marine organisms, composed of two distinct units: the apoprotein apoaequorinand the prosthetic group coelenterazine.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Between 1961 and 1988, we traveled to Friday Harbor and back to the East Coast 19 times (13 of which were road trips) and collected a total of about 850,000 Aequorea specimens to obtain aequorin for my research.
In 1961 Shimomura made the surprising discovery that the protein aequorin, responsible for the self-luminescence of A. victoria, emits blue and not green light.
By 1978, we had achieved a general understanding of the aequorin luminescence reaction.
In 1967, however, Ellis Ridgway and Christopher Ashley, University of Oregon, experimentally proved the involvement of calcium ions in the contraction of muscles using aequorin as an indicator.
Since I was practically the only source of aequorin in this time period, I sent out several hundred aequorin samples in response to requests from investigators all over the world.
The cDNA of aequorin was cloned and recombinant aequorin was made in 1985, but the patent owners of recombinant aequorin, the University of Georgia and Chisso Corporation of Japan, were not sure about expanding the use of aequorin, thus the general use of recombinant aequorin was delayed.
I wanted to study and clarify the chemical mechanism of aequorin bioluminescence, since some people doubted the existence of a photoprotein like aequorin.
During the column chromatography of aequorin, we found a trace of protein that showed green fluorescence, which eluted sooner than aequorin.
It took about 12 years to obtain a structural model of aequorin, as detailed in my Nobel lecture.
Since 1975, aequorin had become widely used among cell biologists and physiologists as an excellent calcium probe, and its applications peaked around 1985.