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Toxins 2015, 7(3), 936-950; doi:10.3390/toxins7030936

Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom

1
Venom Evolution Lab, School of Biological Sciences, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
2
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
3
Alistair Reid Venom Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
4
Pacific Cnidaria Research Lab, Department of Tropical Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
5
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
6
Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis and School of Biological Sciences, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
7
School of Biomedical Sciences, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
8
HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
9
Bioinformatics Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Glenn F. King
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 5th Venoms to Drugs Meeting)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1718 KB, uploaded 18 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Cnidarian venom research has lagged behind other toxinological fields due to technical difficulties in recovery of the complex venom from the microscopic nematocysts. Here we report a newly developed rapid, repeatable and cost effective technique of venom preparation, using ethanol to induce nematocyst discharge and to recover venom contents in one step. Our model species was the Australian box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which has a notable impact on public health. By utilizing scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, we examined nematocyst external morphology before and after ethanol treatment and verified nematocyst discharge. Further, to investigate nematocyst content or “venom” recovery, we utilized both top-down and bottom-up transcriptomics–proteomics approaches and compared the proteome profile of this new ethanol recovery based method to a previously reported high activity and recovery protocol, based upon density purified intact cnidae and pressure induced disruption. In addition to recovering previously characterized box jellyfish toxins, including CfTX-A/B and CfTX-1, we recovered putative metalloproteases and novel expression of a small serine protease inhibitor. This study not only reveals a much more complex toxin profile of Australian box jellyfish venom but also suggests that ethanol extraction method could augment future cnidarian venom proteomics research efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chironex fleckeri; transcriptome; proteome; nematocyst; pressure induced disruption; ethanol induced discharge Chironex fleckeri; transcriptome; proteome; nematocyst; pressure induced disruption; ethanol induced discharge
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jouiaei, M.; Casewell, N.R.; Yanagihara, A.A.; Nouwens, A.; Cribb, B.W.; Whitehead, D.; Jackson, T.N.W.; Ali, S.A.; Wagstaff, S.C.; Koludarov, I.; Alewood, P.; Hansen, J.; Fry, B.G. Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom. Toxins 2015, 7, 936-950.

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