Bioluminescent detection of zearalenone using recombinant peptidomimetic Gaussia luciferase fusion protein

Riikka Peltomaa, Sabrina Fikacek, Elena Benito-Peña, Rodrigo Barderas, Trajen Head, Sapna Deo, Sylvia Daunert, María C. Moreno-Bondi

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7 Scopus citations


The development of a bioluminescent immunosensor is reported for the determination of zearalenone (ZEA) based on a peptide mimetic identified by phage display. The peptide mimetic GW, with a peptide sequence GWWGPYGEIELL, was used to create recombinant fusion proteins with the bioluminescent Gaussia luciferase (GLuc) that were directly used as tracers for toxin detection in a competitive immunoassay without the need for secondary antibodies or further labeling. The bioluminescent sensor, based on protein G–coupled magnetic beads for antibody immobilization, enabled determination of ZEA with a detection limit of 4.2 ng mL−1 (corresponding to 420 μg kg−1 in food samples) and an IC50 value of 11.0 ng mL−1. The sensor performance was evaluated in spiked maize and wheat samples, with recoveries ranging from 87 to 106% (RSD < 20%, n = 3). Finally, the developed method was applied to the analysis of a naturally contaminated reference matrix material and good agreement with the reported concentrations was obtained. Graphical abstract[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number547
JournalMikrochimica Acta
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Bioluminescence
  • Food safety
  • Gaussia luciferase
  • Mycotoxin
  • Zearalenone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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