Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes

Whittington, Camilla M., Papenfuss, Anthony T., Bansal, Paramjit, Torres, Allan M., Wong, Emily S. W., Deakin, Janine E., Graves, Tina, Alsop, Amber, Schatzkamer, Kyriena, Kremitzki, Colin, Ponting, Chris P., Temple-Smith, Peter, Warren, Wesley C., Kuchel, Phillip W. and Belov, Katherine (2008) Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes. Genome Research, 18 6: 986-994. doi:10.1101/gr.7149808


Author Whittington, Camilla M.
Papenfuss, Anthony T.
Bansal, Paramjit
Torres, Allan M.
Wong, Emily S. W.
Deakin, Janine E.
Graves, Tina
Alsop, Amber
Schatzkamer, Kyriena
Kremitzki, Colin
Ponting, Chris P.
Temple-Smith, Peter
Warren, Wesley C.
Kuchel, Phillip W.
Belov, Katherine
Title Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes
Journal name Genome Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1088-9051
1549-5469
Publication date 2008-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1101/gr.7149808
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 18
Issue 6
Start page 986
End page 994
Total pages 9
Place of publication Cold Spring Harbor, NY, United States
Publisher Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was first discovered, it was thought to be a taxidermist’s hoax, as it has a blend of mammalian and reptilian features. It is a most remarkable mammal, not only because it lays eggs but also because it is venomous. Rather than delivering venom through a bite, as do snakes and shrews, male platypuses have venomous spurs on each hind leg. The platypus genome sequence provides a unique opportunity to unravel the evolutionary history of many of these interesting features. While searching the platypus genome for the sequences of antimicrobial defensin genes, we identified three Ornithorhynchus venom defensin-like peptide (OvDLP) genes, which produce the major components of platypus venom. We show that gene duplication and subsequent functional diversification of beta-defensins gave rise to these platypus OvDLPs. The OvDLP genes are located adjacent to the beta-defensins and share similar gene organization and peptide structures. Intriguingly, some species of snakes and lizards also produce venoms containing similar molecules called crotamines and crotamine-like peptides. This led us to trace the evolutionary origins of other components of platypus and reptile venom. Here we show that several venom components have evolved separately in the platypus and reptiles. Convergent evolution has repeatedly selected genes coding for proteins containing specific structural motifs as templates for venom molecules.
Keyword ORNITHORHYNCHUS-ANATINUS
BETA-DEFENSIN
TACHYGLOSSUS-ACULEATUS
PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS
SEQUENCE ALIGNMENT
ALPHA-DEFENSINS
PEPTIDE
GENOME
MAMMALS
PREDICTION
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 14 Mar 2012, 15:26:14 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience