Bioluminescent system for dynamic imaging of cell and animal behavior

Chikako Hara-Miyauchi, Osahiko Tsuji, Aki Hanyu, Seiji Okada, Akimasa Yasuda, Takashi Fukano, Chihiro Akazawa, Masaya Nakamura, Takeshi Imamura, Yumi Matsuzaki, Hirotaka James Okano, Atsushi Miyawaki, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The current utility of bioluminescence imaging is constrained by a low photon yield that limits temporal sensitivity. Here, we describe an imaging method that uses a chemiluminescent/fluorescent protein, . ffLuc-cp156, which consists of a yellow variant of . Aequorea GFP and firefly luciferase. We report an improvement in photon yield by over three orders of magnitude over current bioluminescent systems. We imaged cellular movement at high resolution including neuronal growth cones and microglial cell protrusions. Transgenic . ffLuc-cp156 mice enabled video-rate bioluminescence imaging of freely moving animals, which may provide a reliable assay for drug distribution in behaving animals for pre-clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 9


  • Bioluminescence
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Fluorescent protein
  • Luciferase
  • Transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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