The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene

Pineda, Sandy Steffany, Wilson, David, Mattick, John S. and King, Glenn F. (2012) The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene. PLoS One, 7 8: E43699.1-E43699.8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043699

Author Pineda, Sandy Steffany
Wilson, David
Mattick, John S.
King, Glenn F.
Title The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2012-08-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0043699
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 8
Start page E43699.1
End page E43699.8
Total pages 8
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective
anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as d-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels,
which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that d-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a  prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.
Keyword Funnel web spider
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Sep 2012, 15:28:11 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience