Augustinho Antunes's research while affiliated with University of Porto and other places

Publication (1)

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Understanding the nature and strength of natural selection that influences the evolution of genes is one of the major aspects of modern evolutionary biological studies. Animal venoms are complex cocktails of biologically active compounds that are secreted in a specialized gland and actively delivered to the target animal through the infliction of a...


... Given that venom targets basal physiological processes such as the coagulation cascade (Serrano 2013) and neurotransmission sites (Fry et al. 2009), it may be that relatively few amino acid substitutions can refine venom targeting for divergent prey tissues. The further divergence in more ancient paralogs may reflect the combined effects of neutral evolution (Aird et al. 2017) and refinements to protein function not tied to prey specificity, such as structural stability of the protein (Sunagar et al. 2014), neofunctionalization for novel physiological targets (Whittington et al. 2018), and modifications during pairwise coevolution to avoid inhibitor molecules of resistant prey (Holding, Biardi, et al. 2016;Margres, Bigelow, et al. 2017). Broadly, diet expansion appears possible through sequence variation derived from multiple possible pathways rather than any specific type of variation. ...