Cloning and Sequence Analysis of cDNA for the Luminescent Protein Aequorin

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 May;82(10):3154-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.82.10.3154.


The luminescent jellyfish Aequorea contains a photoprotein, aequorin, which emits light by an intramolecular reaction in the presence of a trace amount of Ca2+. A cDNA library of Aequorea was constructed and clones carrying the cDNA for the Ca2+-dependent photoprotein were isolated by the method of colony hybridization using synthetic oligonucleotide probes. The primary structure of the protein deduced from the nucleotide sequence showed that the protein is composed of 189 amino acid residues and has three E-F hand structures that are characteristic for Ca2+-binding sites. The sequence also suggested that the protein has hydrophobic regions at which the protein may interact with its functional chromophore, coelenterazine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aequorin / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Apoproteins / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Apoproteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Aequorin
  • DNA
  • Calcium

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M11394