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Gene. 2007 Mar 1;389(1):66-72. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Molecular evolution of PIII-SVMP and RGD disintegrin genes from the genus Crotalus.

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  • 1Biological Sciences Department, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, Duncan Hall 254, San Jose, CA 95192-0100, United States.


Several types of disintegrins have been isolated from Crotalus spp rattlesnakes, including RGD disintegrins, and PIII-SVMPs. We isolated six cDNAs from snake venom glands using RT-PCR. Three RGD disintegrins (atroxatin, mojastin, and viridistatin) and three PIII-SVMPs (catroriarin, scutiarin, and viristiarin) cDNAs were isolated from the rattlesnakes Crotalus atrox, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus, and Crotalus viridis viridis, respectively. Atroxatin and Viridistatin shared 90% amino acid identity to each other, and 87% identity to Mojastin. Scutiarin and Viristiarin were identical. All PIII-SVMPs isolated in this study shared the highest amino acid identity with Catrocollastatin. cDNA and protein sequences for RGD disintegrins, one MVD disintegrin, and PIII-SVMPs of the genus Crotalus (present in the NCBI database), were used in phylogenetic analysis. Neighbor-joining analysis of PIII-SVMP and RGD/MVD disintegrin-coding DNA sequences showed that these groups of genes separate into separate clades. A Phi(ST) pairwise comparison and Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) between PIII-SVMPs and RGD/MVD disintegrins showed significant genetic differences. Mutations observed in ten of the cDNAs analyzed did not affect Cys-coding sequences. Our K(A)/K(S) data suggest that rapid evolution occurred between the genes coding for PIII-SVMPs resulting, in the production of RGD disintegrin-coding genes. However, once these genes diverged, mutations in the PIII-SVMP-coding genes were accumulated less frequently.

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