Scorpion venom glands synthesize and secrete a great number of low molecular mass toxic peptides for prey and defense. Many cDNAs and genomic genes encoding these toxins have been isolated and sequenced. However, their expression regulation mechanism is not yet known at present. During screening of a cDNA library prepared from venom glands of the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch, we isolated a natural fusion cDNA composed of the 5′-untranslated region (UTR) and upstream coding sequence of a long-chain toxin transcript and the downstream coding sequence and 3′-UTR of a short-chain toxin transcript. The junction site is just the overlapping region of 11 nucleotides (GGCAAGGAAAT) between the two wild transcripts, and thus leads to the formation of an early stop codon, which will cause premature translation. Based on the above observations, combined with the genomic data, we proposed a characteristic regulation mechanism of scorpion toxin genes, in which trans-splicing and nonsense mediated mRNA decay are involved. © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
Zhu, S., Li, W., & Cao, Z. (2001). A naturally occurring non-coding fusion transcript derived from scorpion venom gland: Implication for the regulation of scorpion toxin gene expression. FEBS Letters, 508(2), 241–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(01)03067-8