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Identification of six novel T-1 conotoxins from Conus pulicarius by molecular cloning.

Peng C., Wu X., Han Y., Yuan D., Chi C., Wang C.

Cone snails are a group of ancient marine gastropods with highly sophisticated defense and prey strategies using conotoxins in their venom. Conotoxins are a diverse array of small peptides, mostly with multiple disulfide bridges. Using a 3' RACE approach, we identified six novel peptides from the venom ducts of a worm-hunting cone snail Conus pulicarius. These peptides are named Pu5.1-Pu5.6 as their primary structures show the typical pattern of T-1 conotoxin family, a large and diverse group of peptides widely distributed in venom ducts of all major feeding types of Conus. Except for the conserved signal peptide sequences in the precursors and unique arrangement of Cys residues (CC-CC) in mature domains, the six novel T-1 conotoxins show remarkable sequence diversity in their pro and mature regions and are, thus, likely to be functionally diversified. Here, we present a simple and fast strategy of gaining novel disulfide-rich conotoxins via molecular cloning and our detailed sequence analysis will pave the way for the future functional characterization of toxin-receptor interaction.

Peptides 28:2116-2124(2007) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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