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Mar. Drugs 2012, 10(10), 2265-2279; doi:10.3390/md10102265
Article

Digital Marine Bioprospecting: Mining New Neurotoxin Drug Candidates from the Transcriptomes of Cold-Water Sea Anemones

1,†
, 1,†
, 1
, 2
, 1,3,*  and 1
1 RNA and Transcriptomics Group, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, N9037 Tromsø, Norway 2 Pharmacology Group, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, N9037 Tromsø, Norway 3 Marine Genomics Group, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, University of Nordland, N8049 Bodø, Norway These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2012 / Revised: 8 October 2012 / Accepted: 10 October 2012 / Published: 18 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metagenomics in Biodiscovery from Oceans)
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Abstract

Marine bioprospecting is the search for new marine bioactive compounds and large-scale screening in extracts represents the traditional approach. Here, we report an alternative complementary protocol, called digital marine bioprospecting, based on deep sequencing of transcriptomes. We sequenced the transcriptomes from the adult polyp stage of two cold-water sea anemones, Bolocera tuediae and Hormathia digitata. We generated approximately 1.1 million quality-filtered sequencing reads by 454 pyrosequencing, which were assembled into approximately 120,000 contigs and 220,000 single reads. Based on annotation and gene ontology analysis we profiled the expressed mRNA transcripts according to known biological processes. As a proof-of-concept we identified polypeptide toxins with a potential blocking activity on sodium and potassium voltage-gated channels from digital transcriptome libraries.
Keywords: deep sequencing; drug discovery; marine bioprospecting; neurotoxin; sea anemone; transcriptomics deep sequencing; drug discovery; marine bioprospecting; neurotoxin; sea anemone; transcriptomics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Urbarova, I.; Karlsen, B.O.; Okkenhaug, S.; Seternes, O.M.; Johansen, S.D.; Emblem, Å. Digital Marine Bioprospecting: Mining New Neurotoxin Drug Candidates from the Transcriptomes of Cold-Water Sea Anemones. Mar. Drugs 2012, 10, 2265-2279.

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