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Cysteine-Rich Secretory Proteins (CRISPs) from Venomous Snakes: An Overview of the Functional Diversity in a Large and Underappreciated Superfamily
Open AccessArticle

Discovery of the Gene Encoding a Novel Small Serum Protein (SSP) of Protobothrops flavoviridis and the Evolution of SSPs

1
Department of Applied Life Science, Faculty of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Sojo University, Kumamoto 860–0082, Japan
2
Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Research Center of Genetic Information, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812–8582, Japan
3
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sojo University, Kumamoto 860–0082, Japan
4
Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Oshima-gun, Kagoshima 894-1531, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030177
Received: 27 January 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
Small serum proteins (SSPs) are low-molecular-weight proteins in snake serum with affinities for various venom proteins. Five SSPs, PfSSP-1 through PfSSP-5, have been reported in Protobothrops flavoviridis (“habu”, Pf) serum so far. Recently, we reported that the five genes encoding these PfSSPs are arranged in tandem on a single chromosome. However, the physiological functions and evolutionary origins of the five SSPs remain poorly understood. In a detailed analysis of the habu draft genome, we found a gene encoding a novel SSP, SSP-6. Structural analysis of the genes encoding SSPs and their genomic arrangement revealed the following: (1) SSP-6 forms a third SSP subgroup; (2) SSP-5 and SSP-6 were present in all snake genomes before the divergence of non-venomous and venomous snakes, while SSP-4 was acquired only by venomous snakes; (3) the composition of paralogous SSP genes in snake genomes seems to reflect snake habitat differences; and (4) the evolutionary emergence of SSP genes is probably related to the physiological functions of SSPs, with an initial snake repertoire of SSP-6 and SSP-5. SSP-4 and its derivative, SSP-3, as well as SSP-1 and SSP-2, appear to be venom-related and were acquired later. View Full-Text
Keywords: small serum proteins; Protobothrops flavoviridis; evolution; gene array; comparative genomics small serum proteins; Protobothrops flavoviridis; evolution; gene array; comparative genomics
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Inamaru, K.; Takeuchi, A.; Maeda, M.; Shibata, H.; Fukumaki, Y.; Oda-Ueda, N.; Hattori, S.; Ohno, M.; Chijiwa, T. Discovery of the Gene Encoding a Novel Small Serum Protein (SSP) of Protobothrops flavoviridis and the Evolution of SSPs. Toxins 2020, 12, 177.

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