Transcriptomic Profiling Reveals Extraordinary Diversity of Venom Peptides in Unexplored Predatory Gastropods of the Genus Clavus

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Aiping Lu
  • Maren Watkins
  • Qing Li
  • Samuel D. Robinson
  • Gisela P. Concepcion
  • Mark Yandell
  • Zhiping Weng
  • Baldomero M. Olivera
  • Safavi, Helena
  • Alexander E. Fedosov

Predatory gastropods of the superfamily Conoidea number over 12,000 living species. The evolutionary success of this lineage can be explained by the ability of conoideans to produce complex venoms for hunting, defense, and competitive interactions. Whereas venoms of cone snails (family Conidae) have become increasingly well studied, the venoms of most other conoidean lineages remain largely uncharacterized. In the present study, we present the venom gland transcriptomes of two species of the genus Clavus that belong to the family Drilliidae. Venom gland transcriptomes of two specimens of Clavus canalicularis and two specimens of Clavus davidgilmouri were analyzed, leading to the identification of a total of 1,176 putative venom peptide toxins (drillipeptides). Based on the combined evidence of secretion signal sequence identity, entire precursor similarity search (BLAST), and the orthology inference, putative Clavus toxins were assigned to 158 different gene families. The majority of identified transcripts comprise signal, pro-, mature peptide, and post-regions, with a typically short (<50 amino acids) and cysteine-rich mature peptide region. Thus, drillipeptides are structurally similar to conotoxins. However, convincing homology with known groups of Conus toxins was only detected for very few toxin families. Among these are Clavus counterparts of Conus venom insulins (drillinsulins), porins (drilliporins), and highly diversified lectins (drillilectins). The short size of most drillipeptides and structural similarity to conotoxins were unexpected, given that most related conoidean gastropod families (Terebridae and Turridae) possess longer mature peptide regions. Our findings indicate that, similar to conotoxins, drillipeptides may represent a valuable resource for future pharmacological exploration.

TidsskriftGenome Biology and Evolution
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)684-700
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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