A novel conotoxin, named as PiVIIA, was isolated from the venom of Conus princeps, a marine predatory cone snail collected in the Pacific Southern Coast of Mexico. Chymotryptic digest of the S-alkylated peptide in combination with liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, were used to define the sequencing of this peptide. Eleven N-terminal amino acids were verified by automated Edman degradation. PiVIIA is a 25-mer peptide (CDAOTHYCTNYWγCCSGYCγHSHCW) with six cysteine residues forming three disulphide bonds, a hydroxyproline (O) and two gamma carboxyglutamic acid (γ) residues. Based on the arrangement of six Cys residues (C-C-CC-C-C), this conotoxin might belong to the O2-superfamily. Moreover, PiVIIA has a conserved motif (-γCCS-) that characterizes γ-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus. Peptide PiVIIA has 45% sequence identity with γ-PnVIIA—the prototype of this family. Biological activity of PiVIIA was assessed by voltage-clamp recording in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Perfusion of PiVIIA in the μM range produces a significant increase in the Ca2+ currents, without significantly modifying the Na+, K+ or proton-gated acid sensing ionic currents. These results indicate that PiVIIA is a new conotoxin whose activity deserves further studies to define its potential use as a positive modulator of neuronal activity.
Bernáldez, J., Jiménez, S., González, L. J., Ferro, J. N., Soto, E., Salceda, E., … Licea-Navarro, A. (2016). A new member of gamma-conotoxin family isolated from Conus princeps displays a novel molecular target. Toxins, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8020039