We describe structural properties and biological activities of two related O-glycosylated peptide toxins isolated from injected (milked) venom of Conus striatus, a piscivorous snail that captures prey by injecting a venom that induces a violent, spastic paralysis. One 30 amino acid toxin is identified as κA-SIVA (termed s4a here), and another 37 amino acid toxin, s4b, corresponds to a putative peptide encoded by a previously reported cDNA. We confirm the amino acid sequences and carry out structural analyses of both mature toxins using multiple mass spectrometric techniques. These include electrospray ionization ion-trap mass spectrometry and nanoelectrospray techniques for small volume samples, as well as matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometric analysis as a complementary method to assist in the determination of posttranslational modifications, including O-linked glycosylation. Physiological experiments indicate that both s4a and s4b induce intense repetitive firing of the frog neuromuscular junction, leading to a tetanic contracture in muscle fiber. These effects apparently involve modification of voltage-gated sodium channels in motor axons. Notably, application of either s4a or s4b alone mimics the biological effects of the whole injected venom on fish prey.
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