Direct cDNA cloning of novel conotoxins of the T-superfamily from Conus textile.
ABSTRACT The T-superfamily is a large and diverse group of peptides, widely distributed in venom ducts of all major feeding types of Conus. These peptides are likely to be functionally diverse. A directed PCR-based approach using primers based on the conserved signal sequence was applied to investigate new conotoxins of the T-superfamily from Conus textile native to Hainan. Using RT-PCR and 3'-RACE, four novel cDNA sequences encoding precursor peptides were identified in C. textile. They share a common T-superfamily cysteine pattern (CC-CC, with two disulfide bridges). The predicted peptides are small (9-12 amino acids). TeAr193 composed of nine amino acid residues is one of the shortest T-superfamily conotoxins ever found. Patterns of sequence divergence and Cys codon usage define the major T-superfamily branches and suggest how these separate branches arose. The sequences of the signal regions exhibited highest conservation, whereas the sequences of the mature peptides were either almost identical or highly divergent; and conservation of the pro-region was intermediate between that observed in signal and toxin regions. The elucidated cDNAs of the four toxins will facilitate a better understanding of the relationship between structure and function.
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ABSTRACT: A major, very hydrophobic peptide, sr5a, was purified from the venom duct of Conus spurius specimens collected in the Yucatan Channel, Mexico. Its amino acid sequence (IINWCCLIFYQCC; calculated monoisotopic mass assuming two disulfide bridges 1616.68 Da) was determined by automatic Edman degradation after reduction and alkylation, and confirmed by mass spectrometry (ESI monoisotopic mass, 1616.60; MALDI monoisotopic mass 1616.42 Da). The primary structure of sr5a showed the pattern that characterizes the family of the T-1-conotoxins, which belong to the T-superfamily of conotoxins. The disulfide bonds were determined by partial reduction and alkylation with N-ethylmaleimide, followed by total reduction and alkylation with 4-vinylpyridine, and automatic Edman sequencing. The connectivity of the Cys residues (I-III, II-IV) is the same as that found in the T-1-conotoxin family. When injected intracranially (2.0 nmol) into mice, peptide sr5a caused depressed behavioral activity.Peptides 04/2006; 27(3):500-5. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In order to investigate the generation of conotoxin diversity, delta-conotoxin sequences from nine Conus species were analyzed in the context of their phylogeny. Using a standard molecular marker, mitochondrial 16S RNA, we determined that the delta-conotoxins were derived from three distinct species clades based on the phylogenetic reconstruction of a large set (>80) of Conus species and other toxoglossate molluscs. Four different mechanisms appear to have contributed to the diversity of the delta-conotoxins analyzed: (1) Speciation: Delta-conotoxins in different species diverge from each other (the prepro regions of orthologous genes somewhat more slowly than the reference rRNA rate, the mature toxin regions significantly faster). (2) Duplication: Intraspecific delta-conotoxin divergence is initiated by gene duplication events, some of which may have predated the species itself. (3) Recombination: A novel delta-conotoxin may arise through recombination of two parental delta-contoxin genes. (4) 'Focal hypermutation': This sudden, almost saltatory change in sequence is always restricted to the mature toxin region. The first three have been recognized previously as mechanisms important for the evolution of gene families in other phylogenetic systems; the last is a remarkable, mechanistically unexplained and specialized feature of Conus peptide diversification.Toxicon 12/2001; 39(12):1899-916. · 2.92 Impact Factor
- Trends in Genetics 03/2000; 16(2):57-9. · 9.77 Impact Factor