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Collaborative Expression: Transcriptomics of Conus virgo Suggests Contribution of Multiple Secretory Glands to Venom Production
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8035-1403
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Molecular Evolution, ISSN 0022-2844, E-ISSN 1432-1432, Vol. 91, p. 837-853Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Venomous marine gastropods of the family Conidae are among the most diversifed predators in marine realm—in large due to their complex venoms. Besides being a valuable source of bioactive neuropeptides conotoxins, cone-snails venoms are an excellent model for molecular evolution studies, addressing origin of key innovations. However, these studies are handicapped by scarce current knowledge on the tissues involved in venom production, as it is generally assumed the sole prerogative of the venom gland (VG). The role of other secretory glands that are present in all Conus species (salivary gland, SG) or only in some species (accessory salivary gland, ASG) remains poorly understood. Here, for the frst time, we carry out a detailed analysis of the VG, SG, and ASG transcriptomes in the vermivorous Conus virgo. We detect multiple transcripts clusters in both the SG and ASG, whose annotations imply venom-related functions. Despite the subsets of transcripts highly-expressed in the VG, SG, and ASG being very distinct, SG expresses an L-, and ASG—Cerm08-, and MEFRR- superfamily conotoxins, all previously considered specifc for VG. We corroborate our results with the analysis of published SG and VG transcriptomes from unrelated fsh-hunting C. geographus, and C. striatus, possibly fsh-hunting C. rolani, and worm-hunting Conus quercinus. In spite of low expression levels of conotoxins, some other specifc clusters of putative venom-related peptides are present and may be highly expressed in the SG of these species. Further functional studies are necessary to determine the role that these peptides play in envenomation. In the meantime, our results show importance of routine multi-tissue sampling both for accurate interpretation of tissue-specifc venom composition in cone-snails, and for better understanding origin and evolution of venom peptides genes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 91, p. 837-853
Keywords [en]
Venom evolution, venomous animals, Conotoxin, Conidae, Molluscs
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-5332DOI: 10.1007/s00239-023-10139-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-5332DiVA, id: diva2:1812538
Available from: 2023-11-16 Created: 2023-11-16 Last updated: 2023-12-20Bibliographically approved

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