Comparative analyses of glycerotoxin expression unveil a novel structural organization of the bloodworm venom system

Richter, Sandy, Helm, Conrad, Meunier, Frederic A., Hering, Lars, Campbell, Lahcen I., Drukewitz, Stephan H., Undheim, Eivind A. B., Jenner, Ronald A., Schiavo, Giampietro and Bleidorn, Christoph (2017) Comparative analyses of glycerotoxin expression unveil a novel structural organization of the bloodworm venom system. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17 1: . doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0904-4


Author Richter, Sandy
Helm, Conrad
Meunier, Frederic A.
Hering, Lars
Campbell, Lahcen I.
Drukewitz, Stephan H.
Undheim, Eivind A. B.
Jenner, Ronald A.
Schiavo, Giampietro
Bleidorn, Christoph
Title Comparative analyses of glycerotoxin expression unveil a novel structural organization of the bloodworm venom system
Journal name BMC Evolutionary Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2148
Publication date 2017-03-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12862-017-0904-4
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 1
Total pages 19
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Abstract Background: We present the first molecular characterization of glycerotoxin (GLTx), a potent neurotoxin found in the venom of the bloodworm Glycera tridactyla (Glyceridae, Annelida). Within the animal kingdom, GLTx shows a unique mode of action as it can specifically up-regulate the activity of Ca2.2 channels (N-type) in a reversible manner. The lack of sequence information has so far hampered a detailed understanding of its mode of action. Results: Our analyses reveal three ~3.8 kb GLTx full-length transcripts, show that GLTx represents a multigene family, and suggest it functions as a dimer. An integrative approach using transcriptomics, quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry shows that GLTx is highly expressed exclusively in four pharyngeal lobes, a previously unrecognized part of the venom apparatus. Conclusions: Our results overturn a century old textbook view on the glycerid venom system, suggesting that it is anatomically and functionally much more complex than previously thought. The herein presented GLTx sequence information constitutes an important step towards the establishment of GLTx as a versatile tool to understand the mechanism of synaptic function, as well as the mode of action of this novel neurotoxin.
Formatted abstract
Background: We present the first molecular characterization of glycerotoxin (GLTx), a potent neurotoxin found in the venom of the bloodworm Glycera tridactyla (Glyceridae, Annelida). Within the animal kingdom, GLTx shows a unique mode of action as it can specifically up-regulate the activity of Cav2.2 channels (N-type) in a reversible manner. The lack of sequence information has so far hampered a detailed understanding of its mode of action.

Results: Our analyses reveal three ~3.8 kb GLTx full-length transcripts, show that GLTx represents a multigene family, and suggest it functions as a dimer. An integrative approach using transcriptomics, quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry shows that GLTx is highly expressed exclusively in four pharyngeal lobes, a previously unrecognized part of the venom apparatus.

Conclusions: Our results overturn a century old textbook view on the glycerid venom system, suggesting that it is anatomically and functionally much more complex than previously thought. The herein presented GLTx sequence information constitutes an important step towards the establishment of GLTx as a versatile tool to understand the mechanism of synaptic function, as well as the mode of action of this novel neurotoxin.
Keyword Annelida
Calcium channel
GLTx
Glyceridae
Neurotoxin
Venom system
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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