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Venomics Reveals Venom Complexity of the Piscivorous Cone Snail, <i>Conus tulipa</i>

By Mriga Dutt, Sébastien Dutertre, Ai-Hua Jin, Vincent Lavergne, Paul Francis Alewood and Richard James Lewis


The piscivorous cone snail <i>Conus tulipa</i> has evolved a net-hunting strategy, akin to the deadly <i>Conus geographus</i>, and is considered the second most dangerous cone snail to humans. Here, we present the first venomics study of <i>C. tulipa</i> venom using integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. Parallel transcriptomic analysis of two <i>C. tulipa</i> specimens revealed striking differences in conopeptide expression levels (2.5-fold) between individuals, identifying 522 and 328 conotoxin precursors from 18 known gene superfamilies. Despite broad overlap at the superfamily level, only 86 precursors (11%) were common to both specimens. Conantokins (NMDA antagonists) from the superfamily B1 dominated the transcriptome and proteome of <i>C. tulipa</i> venom, along with superfamilies B2, A, O1, O3, con-ikot-ikot and conopressins, plus novel putative conotoxins precursors T1.3, T6.2, T6.3, T6.4 and T8.1. Thus, <i>C. tulipa</i> venom comprised both paralytic (putative ion channel modulating &#945;-, &#969;-, &#956;-, &#948;-) and non-paralytic (conantokins, con-ikot-ikots, conopressins) conotoxins. This venomic study confirms the potential for non-paralytic conotoxins to contribute to the net-hunting strategy of <i>C. tulipa.</i

Topics: conotoxin, <i>Conus tulipa</i>, intraspecific variation, venomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, conantokins, net hunting strategy, nirvana cabal, ion channel modulators, Biology (General), QH301-705.5
Publisher: MDPI AG
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3390/md17010071
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