Prediction of tautomeric preferences and pKa values for oxyluciferin and its constituent heterocycles

Erin E. Dahlke, Chris Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Well converged electronic structure calculations are employed to predict the relative energies of tautomers of thiazol-5(4H)-one/5-hydroxythiazole. Benchmarks established for this system are then employed to correct less complete levels of theory applied to the prediction of relative tautomer energies in substituted cases, including oxyluciferin. In the gas phase and aqueous solution, weak preferences for hydroxy and keto tautomers, respectively, are generally observed, but the magnitude is such that mixtures containing significant quantities of minor tautomers are predicted in most instances. The first pKa value for oxyluciferin is predicted to be 6.5, with phenolate tautomers dominating the anionic equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-347
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Organic Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Bioluminescence
  • Firefly
  • Oxyluciferin
  • PK
  • Relative energy
  • Tautomers

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