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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Feb 9;1476(2):372-6.

A common motif in proparts of Cnidarian toxins and nematocyst collagens and its putative role.

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Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Vecna pot 111, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


In Cnidarians, cnidoblast cells contain organelles called cnidocysts, which are believed to be the product of an extremely complex regulated secretory pathway. When matured, these stinging organelles are capable of storing and delivering toxins. We hypothesized that translated nematocyst proteins might comprise specific sequences serving as signals in sorting to the organelle. A sodium channel neurotoxin from the sea anemone Actinia equina was cloned and the toxin precursor sequence was compared to those of nematocyst collagens, pore-forming toxins and ion channel neurotoxins. It was found that all the analyzed sequences possess a highly conserved stretch of nine amino acid residues ending with Lys-Arg N-terminally of the mature region.

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