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An Economic Dilemma between Molecular Weapon Systems May Explain an Arachno-Atypical Venom in Wasp Spiders (Argiope bruennichi)

1
Department of Bioresources, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Ohlebergsweg 12, 35392 Gießen, Germany
2
LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (LOEWE-TBG), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
3
Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Gießen, Germany
4
Institute for Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 58, 35392 Gießen, Germany
5
Institute of Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen, Friedrichstr. 24, 35392 Gießen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10070978 (registering DOI)
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 24 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics and Systems Biology)
Spiders use venom to subdue their prey, but little is known about the diversity of venoms in different spider families. Given the limited data available for orb-weaver spiders (Araneidae), we selected the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi for detailed analysis. Our strategy combined a transcriptomics pipeline based on multiple assemblies with a dual proteomics workflow involving parallel mass spectrometry techniques and electrophoretic profiling. We found that the remarkably simple venom of A. bruennichi has an atypical composition compared to other spider venoms, prominently featuring members of the cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related protein 1 (CAP) superfamily and other, mostly high-molecular-weight proteins. We also detected a subset of potentially novel toxins similar to neuropeptides. We discuss the potential function of these proteins in the context of the unique hunting behavior of wasp spiders, which rely mostly on silk to trap their prey. We propose that the simplicity of the venom evolved to solve an economic dilemma between two competing yet metabolically expensive weapon systems. This study emphasizes the importance of cutting-edge methods to encompass the lineages of smaller venomous species that have yet to be characterized in detail, allowing us to understand the biology of their venom systems and to mine this prolific resource for translational research. View Full-Text
Keywords: venomics; Argiope bruennichi; CAP superfamily; ICK; neuropeptides; hunting behavior; spider venom; proteotranscriptomics; bioresources venomics; Argiope bruennichi; CAP superfamily; ICK; neuropeptides; hunting behavior; spider venom; proteotranscriptomics; bioresources
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3888295
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/3906035#.XvN8rC1XaqA
    Description: Figure S1: 2D SDS PAGE Gel used for interpretation and MALDI MS (Zoom in for Spot assignments)Table S1: Docker Images combined for bioinformatic analysis Table S2: Mascot output for MALDI MS Table S3: Mascot output for nanoLC ESI MS Table S4: Annotated Proteome Hits incl Sequences Table S5: Annotated sequences from Araneus ventricosus
MDPI and ACS Style

Lüddecke, T.; von Reumont, B.M.; Förster, F.; Billion, A.; Timm, T.; Lochnit, G.; Vilcinskas, A.; Lemke, S. An Economic Dilemma between Molecular Weapon Systems May Explain an Arachno-Atypical Venom in Wasp Spiders (Argiope bruennichi). Biomolecules 2020, 10, 978.

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