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Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(6), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16060201

Structural Characterisation of Predicted Helical Regions in the Chironex fleckeri CfTX-1 Toxin

Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4878, Australia
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Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Invertebrate Toxins)
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Abstract

The Australian jellyfish Chironex fleckeri, belongs to a family of cubozoan jellyfish known for their potent venoms. CfTX-1 and -2 are two highly abundant toxins in the venom, but there is no structural data available for these proteins. Structural information on toxins is integral to the understanding of the mechanism of these toxins and the development of an effective treatment. Two regions of CfTX-1 have been predicted to have helical structures that are involved with the mechanism of action. Here we have synthesized peptides corresponding to these regions and analyzed their structures using NMR spectroscopy. The peptide corresponding to the predicted N-terminal amphiphilic helix appears unstructured in aqueous solution. This lack of structure concurs with structural disorder predicted for this region of the protein using the Protein DisOrder prediction System PrDOS. Conversely, a peptide corresponding to a predicted transmembrane region is very hydrophobic, insoluble in aqueous solution and predicted to be structured by PrDOS. In the presence of SDS-micelles both peptides have well-defined helical structures showing that a membrane mimicking environment stabilizes the structures of both peptides and supports the prediction of the transmembrane region in CfTX-1. This is the first study to experimentally analyze the structure of regions of a C. fleckeri protein. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chironex fleckeri venom; CfTX-1; cubozoan toxins; pore-forming toxins Chironex fleckeri venom; CfTX-1; cubozoan toxins; pore-forming toxins
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Andreosso, A.; Bansal, P.S.; Smout, M.J.; Wilson, D.; Seymour, J.E.; Daly, N.L. Structural Characterisation of Predicted Helical Regions in the Chironex fleckeri CfTX-1 Toxin. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 201.

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