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Toxins 2017, 9(12), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins9120399

A Deeper Examination of Thorellius atrox Scorpion Venom Components with Omic Technologies

1
Departamento de Medicina Molecular y Bioprocesos, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida Universidad 2001, Apartado Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca CP: 62210, Morelos, Mexico
2
Departamento de Microbiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida Universidad 2001, Apartado Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca CP: 62210, Morelos, Mexico
3
Programa de Genómica Evolutiva, Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca CP: 62210, Morelos, Mexico
4
Laboratorio Universitario de Proteómica, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida Universidad 2001, Apartado Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca CP: 62210, Morelos, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisabeth Ferroni Schwartz
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scorpion Toxins)
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Abstract

This communication reports a further examination of venom gland transcripts and venom composition of the Mexican scorpion Thorellius atrox using RNA-seq and tandem mass spectrometry. The RNA-seq, which was performed with the Illumina protocol, yielded more than 20,000 assembled transcripts. Following a database search and annotation strategy, 160 transcripts were identified, potentially coding for venom components. A novel sequence was identified that potentially codes for a peptide with similarity to spider ω-agatoxins, which act on voltage-gated calcium channels, not known before to exist in scorpion venoms. Analogous transcripts were found in other scorpion species. They could represent members of a new scorpion toxin family, here named omegascorpins. The mass fingerprint by LC-MS identified 135 individual venom components, five of which matched with the theoretical masses of putative peptides translated from the transcriptome. The LC-MS/MS de novo sequencing allowed to reconstruct and identify 42 proteins encoded by assembled transcripts, thus validating the transcriptome analysis. Earlier studies conducted with this scorpion venom permitted the identification of only twenty putative venom components. The present work performed with more powerful and modern omic technologies demonstrates the capacity of accomplishing a deeper characterization of scorpion venom components and the identification of novel molecules with potential applications in biomedicine and the study of ion channel physiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: proteome; RNA-seq; Thorellius; transcriptome; Vaejovidae; venom; venom gland proteome; RNA-seq; Thorellius; transcriptome; Vaejovidae; venom; venom gland
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Romero-Gutierrez, T.; Peguero-Sanchez, E.; Cevallos, M.A.; Batista, C.V.F.; Ortiz, E.; Possani, L.D. A Deeper Examination of Thorellius atrox Scorpion Venom Components with Omic Technologies. Toxins 2017, 9, 399.

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