Skip Header

You are using a version of browser that may not display all the features of this website. Please consider upgrading your browser.

The A-superfamily of conotoxins: structural and functional divergence.

Santos A.D., McIntosh J.M., Hillyard D.R., Cruz L.J., Olivera B.M.

The generation of functional novelty in proteins encoded by a gene superfamily is seldom well documented. In this report, we define the A-conotoxin superfamily, which is widely expressed in venoms of the predatory cone snails (Conus), and show how gene products that diverge considerably in structure and function have arisen within the same superfamily. A cDNA clone encoding alpha-conotoxin GI, the first conotoxin characterized, provided initial data that identified the A-superfamily. Conotoxin precursors in the A-superfamily were identified from six Conus species: most (11/16) encoded alpha-conotoxins, but some (5/16) belong to a family of excitatory peptides, the kappaA-conotoxins that target voltage-gated ion channels. alpha-Conotoxins are two-disulfide-bridged nicotinic antagonists, 13-19 amino acids in length; kappaA-conotoxins are larger (31-36 amino acids) with three disulfide bridges. Purification and biochemical characterization of one peptide, kappaA-conotoxin MIVA is reported; five of the other predicted conotoxins were previously venom-purified. A comparative analysis of conotoxins purified from venom, and their precursors reveal novel post-translational processing, as well as mutational events leading to polymorphism. Patterns of sequence divergence and Cys codon usage define the major superfamily branches and suggest how these separate branches arose.

J. Biol. Chem. 279:17596-17606(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

UniProt is an ELIXIR core data resource
Main funding by: National Institutes of Health

We'd like to inform you that we have updated our Privacy Notice to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies since 25 May 2018.

Do not show this banner again