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Gigascience. 2016 Apr 14;5:17. doi: 10.1186/s13742-016-0122-9. eCollection 2016.

High-throughput identification of novel conotoxins from the Chinese tubular cone snail (Conus betulinus) by multi-transcriptome sequencing.

Author information

1
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China.
2
Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Beijing, 102205 China.
3
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, 571199 China.
4
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Genomics, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Molecular Breeding in Marine Economic Animals, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Genomics, Shenzhen, 518083 China.
5
Micro Pharmatech Ltd, Wuhan, 430075 China.
6
Molecular Genomics Laboratory, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA.
7
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Genomics, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Molecular Breeding in Marine Economic Animals, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Genomics, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; BGI-Zhenjiang Institute of Hydrobiology, Zhenjiang, 212000 China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The venom of predatory marine cone snails mainly contains a diverse array of unique bioactive peptides commonly referred to as conopeptides or conotoxins. These peptides have proven to be valuable pharmacological probes and potential drugs because of their high specificity and affinity to important ion channels, receptors and transporters of the nervous system. Most previous studies have focused specifically on the conopeptides from piscivorous and molluscivorous cone snails, but little attention has been devoted to the dominant vermivorous species.

RESULTS:

The vermivorous Chinese tubular cone snail, Conus betulinus, is the dominant Conus species inhabiting the South China Sea. The transcriptomes of venom ducts and venom bulbs from a variety of specimens of this species were sequenced using both next-generation sequencing and traditional Sanger sequencing technologies, resulting in the identification of a total of 215 distinct conopeptides. Among these, 183 were novel conopeptides, including nine new superfamilies. It appeared that most of the identified conopeptides were synthesized in the venom duct, while a handful of conopeptides were identified only in the venom bulb and at very low levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

We identified 215 unique putative conopeptide transcripts from the combination of five transcriptomes and one EST sequencing dataset. Variation in conopeptides from different specimens of C. betulinus was observed, which suggested the presence of intraspecific variability in toxin production at the genetic level. These novel conopeptides provide a potentially fertile resource for the development of new pharmaceuticals, and a pathway for the discovery of new conotoxins.

KEYWORDS:

Cone snail; Conopeptide; Conotoxin; Conus betulinus; Transcriptome; Venom bulb; Venom duct

PMID:
27087938
PMCID:
PMC4832519
DOI:
10.1186/s13742-016-0122-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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