Osamu Shimomura

Osamu Shimomura is a Japanese organic chemist and a marine biologist. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2008 for the discovery and development of “GFP” Green Fluorescent Protein together with Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien.

During his research in 1962, Shimomura had discovered Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in Aequorea victoria (asmall umbrella-shaped glowing jellyfish). The jelly fish releases calcium ions which bind to a protein. Shimomura named these proteins as “aequorin”. Binding of calcium ion with the protein produces a glow.

Osamu Shimomura’s discovery of GFP and investigations of numerous other substances which lead to glow reaction (light emissions) have made him the most prominent expert on luminescent chemistry in the world.Shimomura also received the Pearse Prize 2004 and Asahi Prize 2007.

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Chemist CHEMIST (green fluorescent protein)
Osamu Shimomura
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2004 Pearse Prize

2005 Emile Chamot Award

2006 Asahi Prize in

2008 Order of Culture

2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Osamu Shimomura Discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP) (Nobel Lecture). Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) 2009;48(31):5590-602.

Sachiko Toma; Khoon Tee Chong; Atsushi Nakagawa; Katsunori Teranishi; Satoshi Inouye; Osamu Shimomura The crystal structures of semi-synthetic aequorins. Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society 2005;14(2):409-16.

O Shimomura; P R Flood; S Inouye; B Bryan; A Shimomura Isolation and properties of the luciferase stored in the ovary of the scyphozoan medusa Periphylla periphylla. The Biological bulletin 2001;201(3):339-47.

J F Head; S Inouye; K Teranishi; O Shimomura The crystal structure of the photoprotein aequorin at 2.3 A resolution. Nature 2000;405(6784):372-6.

O Shimomura; K Teranishi Light-emitters involved in the luminescence of coelenterazine. Luminescence : the journal of biological and chemical luminescence 2000;15(1):51-8.

O Shimomura; S Inouye The in situ regeneration and extraction of recombinant aequorin from Escherichia coli cells and the purification of extracted aequorin. Protein expression and purification 1999;16(1):91-5.

O Shimomura; C Wu; A Murai; H Nakamura Evaluation of five imidazopyrazinone-type chemiluminescent superoxide probes and their application to the measurement of superoxide anion generated by Listeria monocytogenes. Analytical biochemistry 1998;258(2):230-5.

O Shimomura Membrane permeability of coelenterazine analogues measured with fish eggs. The Biochemical journal 1997;326 ( Pt 2)():297-8.

K Teranishi; O Shimomura Coelenterazine analogs as chemiluminescent probe for superoxide anion. Analytical biochemistry 1997;249(1):37-43.

O Shimomura; S Inouye Titration of recombinant aequorin with calcium chloride. Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1996;221(1):77-81.

O Shimomura A short story of aequorin. The Biological bulletin 1995;189(1):1-5.

O Shimomura Luminescence of aequorin is triggered by the binding of two calcium ions. Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1995;211(2):359-63.

O Shimomura Cause of spectral variation in the luminescence of semisynthetic aequorins. The Biochemical journal 1995;306 ( Pt 2)():537-43.

O Shimomura The roles of the two highly unstable components F and P involved in the bioluminescence of euphausiid shrimps. Journal of bioluminescence and chemiluminescence 1995;10(2):91-101.

O Shimomura; Y Kishi; S Inouye The relative rate of aequorin regeneration from apoaequorin and coelenterazine analogues. The Biochemical journal 1993;296 ( Pt 3)():549-51.

O Shimomura; S Satoh; Y Kishi Structure and non-enzymatic light emission of two luciferin precursors isolated from the luminous mushroom Panellus stipticus. Journal of bioluminescence and chemiluminescence 1993;8(4):201-5.

O Shimomura; B Musicki; Y Kishi; S Inouye Light-emitting properties of recombinant semi-synthetic aequorins and recombinant fluorescein-conjugated aequorin for measuring cellular calcium. Cell calcium 1993;14(5):373-8.

O Shimomura Preparation and handling of aequorin solutions for the measurement of cellular Ca2+. Cell calcium 1991;12(9):635-43.

O Shimomura; S Inouye; B Musicki; Y Kishi Recombinant aequorin and recombinant semi-synthetic aequorins. Cellular Ca2+ ion indicators. The Biochemical journal 1990;270(2):309-12.

O Shimomura; B Musicki; Y Kishi Semi-synthetic aequorins with improved sensitivity to Ca2+ ions. The Biochemical journal 1989;261(3):913-20.

O Shimomura; B Musicki; Y Kishi Semi-synthetic aequorin. An improved tool for the measurement of calcium ion concentration. The Biochemical journal 1988;251(2):405-10.

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    University Professor
    Boston University