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Dynamic evolution of venom proteins in squamate reptiles

Casewell, Nicholas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8035-4719, Huttley, Gavin A. and Wüster, Wolfgang (2012) 'Dynamic evolution of venom proteins in squamate reptiles'. Nature Communications, Vol 3, p. 1066.

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Abstract

Phylogenetic analyses of toxin gene families have revolutionised our understanding of the origin and evolution of reptile venoms, leading to the current hypothesis that venom evolved once in squamate reptiles. However, because of a lack of homologous squamate non-toxin sequences, these conclusions rely on the implicit assumption that recruitments of protein families into venom are both rare and irreversible. Here we use sequences of homologous non-toxin proteins from two snake species to test these assumptions. Phylogenetic and ancestral-state analyses revealed frequent nesting of 'physiological' proteins within venom toxin clades, suggesting early ancestral recruitment into venom followed by reverse recruitment of toxins back to physiological roles. These results provide evidence that protein recruitment into venoms from physiological functions is not a one-way process, but dynamic, with reversal of function and/or co-expression of toxins in different tissues. This requires a major reassessment of our previous understanding of how animal venoms evolve.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 470 Genetic structures
QU Biochemistry > Proteins. Amino Acids. Peptides > QU 58.5 DNA.
QV Pharmacology > Toxicology > General Toxicology > QV 600 General works
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2065
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 12:39
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:08
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/4656

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