Two toxins from Conus striatus that individually induce tetanic paralysis

Wayne P. Kelley, Joseph R. Schulz, Jennifer A. Jakubowski, William F. Gilly, Jonathan V. Sweedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14212-14222
Number of pages11
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 28 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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