Enhanced beetle luciferase for high-resolution bioluminescence imaging

PLoS One. 2010 Apr 2;5(4):e10011. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010011.


We developed an enhanced green-emitting luciferase (ELuc) to be used as a bioluminescence imaging (BLI) probe. ELuc exhibits a light signal in mammalian cells that is over 10-fold stronger than that of the firefly luciferase (FLuc), which is the most widely used luciferase reporter gene. We showed that ELuc produces a strong light signal in primary cells and tissues and that it enables the visualization of gene expression with high temporal resolution at the single-cell level. Moreover, we successfully imaged the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of importin alpha by fusing ELuc at the intracellular level. These results demonstrate that the use of ELuc allows a BLI spatiotemporal resolution far greater than that provided by FLuc.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coleoptera / enzymology
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Karyopherins / analysis
  • Karyopherins / metabolism
  • Luciferases*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Molecular Probe Techniques
  • Molecular Probes*
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteins / analysis*


  • Karyopherins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Molecular Probes
  • Proteins
  • Luciferases