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Characterization of the Conus bullatus genome and its venom-duct transcriptome.

Hu H, Bandyopadhyay PK, Olivera BM, Yandell M - BMC Genomics (2011)

Bottom Line: Our results provide the first global view of venom-duct transcription in any cone snail.A notable feature of Conus bullatus venoms is the breadth of A-superfamily peptides expressed in the venom duct, which are unprecedented in their structural diversity.We also find SNP rates within conopeptides are higher compared to the remainder of C. bullatus transcriptome, consistent with the hypothesis that conopeptides are under diversifying selection.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Eccles institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah, and School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: The venomous marine gastropods, cone snails (genus Conus), inject prey with a lethal cocktail of conopeptides, small cysteine-rich peptides, each with a high affinity for its molecular target, generally an ion channel, receptor or transporter. Over the last decade, conopeptides have proven indispensable reagents for the study of vertebrate neurotransmission. Conus bullatus belongs to a clade of Conus species called Textilia, whose pharmacology is still poorly characterized. Thus the genomics analyses presented here provide the first step toward a better understanding the enigmatic Textilia clade.

Results: We have carried out a sequencing survey of the Conus bullatus genome and venom-duct transcriptome. We find that conopeptides are highly expressed within the venom-duct, and describe an in silico pipeline for their discovery and characterization using RNA-seq data. We have also carried out low-coverage shotgun sequencing of the genome, and have used these data to determine its size, genome-wide base composition, simple repeat, and mobile element densities.

Conclusions: Our results provide the first global view of venom-duct transcription in any cone snail. A notable feature of Conus bullatus venoms is the breadth of A-superfamily peptides expressed in the venom duct, which are unprecedented in their structural diversity. We also find SNP rates within conopeptides are higher compared to the remainder of C. bullatus transcriptome, consistent with the hypothesis that conopeptides are under diversifying selection.

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Conus bullatus and its feeding preference. a. Shell of Conus bullatus; b. Prey capture by Conus bullatus.
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Figure 1: Conus bullatus and its feeding preference. a. Shell of Conus bullatus; b. Prey capture by Conus bullatus.

Mentions: The pharmacology of the Textilia is thus still poorly characterized, and the genomics analyses presented here provide the first step toward a better understanding the enigmatic Textilia clade. The biology of the Conus species that belong to the Textilia clade is mostly unknown, but we recently documented the prey capture behavior of Conus bullatus (Figure 1). The general strategy appears to be analogous to that first established for Conus purpurascens [14], with one group of venom peptides causing a rapid tetanic immobilization, and a second set eliciting a block of neuromuscular transmission. Multiple venom peptides that act coordinately to achieve a particular physiological endpoint are referred to as "conopeptides cabals" [15]. The fish-hunting cone snails generally have both a "lightning-strike cabal" and a "motor cabal" leading to the tetanic immobilization and neuromuscular block, respectively. A video of Conus bullatus has documented the most rapid tetanic immobilization of prey observed for any fish-hunting cone snail. (http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/biodiversity/2009_conus_bullatus.html).


Characterization of the Conus bullatus genome and its venom-duct transcriptome.

Hu H, Bandyopadhyay PK, Olivera BM, Yandell M - BMC Genomics (2011)

Conus bullatus and its feeding preference. a. Shell of Conus bullatus; b. Prey capture by Conus bullatus.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3040727&req=5

Figure 1: Conus bullatus and its feeding preference. a. Shell of Conus bullatus; b. Prey capture by Conus bullatus.
Mentions: The pharmacology of the Textilia is thus still poorly characterized, and the genomics analyses presented here provide the first step toward a better understanding the enigmatic Textilia clade. The biology of the Conus species that belong to the Textilia clade is mostly unknown, but we recently documented the prey capture behavior of Conus bullatus (Figure 1). The general strategy appears to be analogous to that first established for Conus purpurascens [14], with one group of venom peptides causing a rapid tetanic immobilization, and a second set eliciting a block of neuromuscular transmission. Multiple venom peptides that act coordinately to achieve a particular physiological endpoint are referred to as "conopeptides cabals" [15]. The fish-hunting cone snails generally have both a "lightning-strike cabal" and a "motor cabal" leading to the tetanic immobilization and neuromuscular block, respectively. A video of Conus bullatus has documented the most rapid tetanic immobilization of prey observed for any fish-hunting cone snail. (http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/biodiversity/2009_conus_bullatus.html).

Bottom Line: Our results provide the first global view of venom-duct transcription in any cone snail.A notable feature of Conus bullatus venoms is the breadth of A-superfamily peptides expressed in the venom duct, which are unprecedented in their structural diversity.We also find SNP rates within conopeptides are higher compared to the remainder of C. bullatus transcriptome, consistent with the hypothesis that conopeptides are under diversifying selection.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Eccles institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah, and School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: The venomous marine gastropods, cone snails (genus Conus), inject prey with a lethal cocktail of conopeptides, small cysteine-rich peptides, each with a high affinity for its molecular target, generally an ion channel, receptor or transporter. Over the last decade, conopeptides have proven indispensable reagents for the study of vertebrate neurotransmission. Conus bullatus belongs to a clade of Conus species called Textilia, whose pharmacology is still poorly characterized. Thus the genomics analyses presented here provide the first step toward a better understanding the enigmatic Textilia clade.

Results: We have carried out a sequencing survey of the Conus bullatus genome and venom-duct transcriptome. We find that conopeptides are highly expressed within the venom-duct, and describe an in silico pipeline for their discovery and characterization using RNA-seq data. We have also carried out low-coverage shotgun sequencing of the genome, and have used these data to determine its size, genome-wide base composition, simple repeat, and mobile element densities.

Conclusions: Our results provide the first global view of venom-duct transcription in any cone snail. A notable feature of Conus bullatus venoms is the breadth of A-superfamily peptides expressed in the venom duct, which are unprecedented in their structural diversity. We also find SNP rates within conopeptides are higher compared to the remainder of C. bullatus transcriptome, consistent with the hypothesis that conopeptides are under diversifying selection.

Show MeSH