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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Peptide ion channel toxins from the bootlace worm, the longest animal on Earth

Jacobsson, Erik; Andersson, Hakan S.; Strand, Malin; Peigneur, Steve; Eriksson, Camilla; Loden, Henrik; Shariatgorji, Mohammadreza; Andren, Per E.; Lebbe, Eline K. M.; Rosengren, K. Johan; Tytgat, Jan; Goransson, Ulf

Abstract

Polypeptides from animal venoms have found important uses as drugs, pharmacological tools, and within biotechnological and agricultural applications. We here report a novel family of cystine knot peptides from nemertean worms, with potent activity on voltage-gated sodium channels. These toxins, named the alpha-nemertides, were discovered in the epidermal mucus of Lineus longissimus, the 'bootlace worm' known as the longest animal on earth. The most abundant peptide, the 31-residue long alpha-1, was isolated, synthesized, and its 3D NMR structure determined. Transcriptome analysis including 17 species revealed eight alpha-nemertides, mainly distributed in the genus Lineus. alpha-1 caused paralysis and death in green crabs (Carcinus maenas) at 1 mu g/kg (similar to 300 pmol/kg). It showed profound effect on invertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels (e.g. Blattella germanica Na(v)1) at low nanomolar concentrations. Strong selectivity for insect over human sodium channels indicates that a-nemertides can be promising candidates for development of bioinsecticidal agents.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2018, Volume: 8, article number: 4596Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Pharmacology and Toxicology

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22305-w

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/94714