Cloning of complementary and genomic DNAs encoding echotoxins, proteinaceous toxins from the salivary gland of marine gastropod Monoplex echo.
ABSTRACT Echotoxins are hemolytic and lethal proteinaceous toxins of about 25 kDa that are contained in the salivary gland of marine gastropod Monoplex echo. In this study, complementary DNAs (cDNAs) encoding four echotoxins (2, A, B1 and B2) were isolated from the cDNA library constructed from the M. echo salivary gland and completely sequenced. Although the amino acid sequence identity between the four echotoxins and actinoporins (20 kDa hemolysins from sea anemones) was very low (12-16%), some amino acid residues important for the biological activity of actinoporins were well conserved in the echotoxins. In the case of echotoxin 2, the genomic DNA corresponding to the coding region was amplified. Sequencing data revealed that the echotoxin 2 gene is devoid of introns within the coding region as reported for the actinoporin genes. These results suggest that echotoxins have evolved from actinoporins or both toxins have evolved from the same ancestor.