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J Pept Sci. 2007 Jan;13(1):44-53.

Diversity of the O-superfamily conotoxins from Conus miles.

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1
Key Laboratory for Tropical Biological Resources, (MOE), Ocean College, Center for Experimental Biotechnology, Hainan University; Haikou Hainan, 570228 China. luosulan2003@163.com

Abstract

Conopeptides display prominent features of hypervariability and high selectivity of large gene families that mediate interactions between organisms. Remarkable sequence diversity of O-superfamily conotoxins was found in a worm-hunting cone snail Conus miles. Five novel cDNA sequences encoding O-superfamily precursor peptides were identified in C. miles native to Hainan by RT-PCR and 3'-RACE. They share the common cysteine pattern of the O-superfamily conotoxin (C-C-CC-C-C, with three disulfide bridges). The predicted peptides consist of 27-33 amino acids. We then performed a phylogenetic analysis of the new and published homologue sequences from C. miles and the other Conus species. Sequence divergence (%) and residue substitutions to view evolutionary relationships of the precursors' signal, propeptide, and mature toxin regions were analyzed. Percentage divergence of the amino acid sequences of the prepro region exhibited high conservation, whereas the sequences of the mature peptides ranged from almost identical with to highly divergent from inter- and intra-species. Despite the O-superfamily being a large and diverse group of peptides, widely distributed in the venom ducts of all major feeding types of Conus and discovered in several Conus species, it was for the first time that the newly found five O-superfamily peptides in this research came from the vermivorous C. miles. So far, conotoxins of the O-superfamily whose properties have been characterized are from piscivorous and molluscivorous Conus species, and their amino acid sequences and mode of action have been discussed in detail. The elucidated cDNAs of the five toxins are new and of importance and should attract the interest of researchers in the field, which would pave the way for a better understanding of the relationship of their structure and function.

PMID:
17106905
DOI:
10.1002/psc.802
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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