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Toxicon. 2007 Nov;50(6):850-60. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

Identification, cloning and sequencing of two major venom proteins from the box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.


Two of the most abundant proteins found in the nematocysts of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri have been identified as C. fleckeri toxin-1 (CfTX-1) and toxin-2 (CfTX-2). The molecular masses of CfTX-1 and CfTX-2, as determined by SDS-PAGE, are approximately 43 and 45 kDa, respectively, and both proteins are strongly antigenic to commercially available box jellyfish antivenom and rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against C. fleckeri nematocyst extracts. The amino acid sequences of mature CfTX-1 and CfTX-2 (436 and 445 residues, respectively) share significant homology with three known proteins: CqTX-A from Chiropsalmus quadrigatus, CrTXs from Carybdea rastoni and CaTX-A from Carybdea alata, all of which are lethal, haemolytic box jellyfish toxins. Multiple sequence alignment of the five jellyfish proteins has identified several short, but highly conserved regions of amino acids that coincide with a predicted transmembrane spanning region, referred to as TSR1, which may be involved in a pore-forming mechanism of action. Furthermore, remote protein homology predictions for CfTX-2 and CaTX-A suggest weak structural similarities to pore-forming insecticidal delta-endotoxins Cry1Aa, Cry3Bb and Cry3A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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