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Large-scale discovery of conopeptides and conoproteins in the injectable venom of a fish-hunting cone snail using a combined proteomic and transcriptomic approach.

Violette A., Biass D., Dutertre S., Koua D., Piquemal D., Pierrat F., Stocklin R., Favreau P.

Predatory marine snails of the genus Conus use venom containing a complex mixture of bioactive peptides to subdue their prey. Here we report on a comprehensive analysis of the protein content of injectable venom from Conus consors, an indo-pacific fish-hunting cone snail. By matching MS/MS data against an extensive set of venom gland transcriptomic mRNA sequences, we identified 105 components out of ~400 molecular masses detected in the venom. Among them, we described new conotoxins belonging to the A, M- and O1-superfamilies as well as a novel superfamily of disulphide free conopeptides. A high proportion of the deduced sequences (36%) corresponded to propeptide regions of the A- and M-superfamilies, raising the question of their putative role in injectable venom. Enzymatic digestion of higher molecular mass components allowed the identification of new conkunitzins (~7 kDa) and two proteins in the 25 and 50 kDa molecular mass ranges respectively characterised as actinoporin-like and hyaluronidase-like protein. These results provide the most exhaustive and accurate proteomic overview of an injectable cone snail venom to date, and delineate the major protein families present in the delivered venom. This study demonstrates the feasibility of this analytical approach and paves the way for transcriptomics-assisted strategies in drug discovery.

J. Proteomics 75:5215-5225(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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