Modulation of conotoxin structure and function is achieved through a multienzyme complex in the venom glands of cone snails

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Safavi, Helena
  • Dhana G Gorasia
  • Andrew M Steiner
  • Nicholas A Williamson
  • John A Karas
  • Joanna Gajewiak
  • Baldomero M Olivera
  • Grzegorz Bulaj
  • Anthony W Purcell

The oxidative folding of large polypeptides has been investigated in detail; however, comparatively little is known about the enzyme-assisted folding of small, disulfide-containing peptide substrates. To investigate the concerted effect of multiple enzymes on the folding of small disulfide-rich peptides, we sequenced and expressed protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI), peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase, and immunoglobulin-binding protein (BiP) from Conus venom glands. Conus PDI was shown to catalyze the oxidation and reduction of disulfide bonds in two conotoxins, α-GI and α-ImI. Oxidative folding rates were further increased in the presence of Conus PPI with the maximum effect observed in the presence of both enzymes. In contrast, Conus BiP was only observed to assist folding in the presence of microsomes, suggesting that additional co-factors were involved. The identification of a complex between BiP, PDI, and nascent conotoxins further suggests that the folding and assembly of conotoxins is a highly regulated multienzyme-assisted process. Unexpectedly, all three enzymes contributed to the folding of the ribbon isomer of α-ImI. Here, we identify this alternative disulfide-linked species in the venom of Conus imperialis, providing the first evidence for the existence of a "non-native" peptide isomer in the venom of cone snails. Thus, ER-resident enzymes act in concert to accelerate the oxidative folding of conotoxins and modulate their conformation and function by reconfiguring disulfide connectivities. This study has evaluated the role of a number of ER-resident enzymes in the folding of conotoxins, providing novel insights into the enzyme-guided assembly of these small, disulfide-rich peptides.

TidsskriftThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Udgave nummer41
Sider (fra-til)34288-303
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 5 okt. 2012
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 232824815