Definition of luciferase
: an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin
Recent Examples of luciferase from the Web
Every organism has its own version of luciferin and luciferase, with individual properties that could prove useful.
In all bioluminescent organisms, a small molecule called luciferin interacts with oxygen and a bigger protein called luciferase, creating chemical energy that is eventually released in the form of cold light.
The firefly gene that codes for luciferase is very similar to a common fatty acid-making gene, Lewis says.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'luciferase'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of luciferase
International Scientific Vocabulary, from luciferin
First Known Use: 1888See Words from the same year
Learn More about luciferase
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about luciferase
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up luciferase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).