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Toxin transcripts in Crotalus atrox venom and in silico structures of toxins

Research Report

OpenAccess
J Venom Res 
(2020), Vol 10, 18-22

Published online: 17 June 2020

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Ying Jia*, Ivan Lopez and Paulina Kowalski

Biology Department, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Texas 78520, USA


*Correspondence to: Ying Jia, Email: Ying.jia@utrgv.edu


Received: 16 May 2020 | Revised: 15 June 2020 | Accepted: 16 June 2020


© Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0). This license permits non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction of this article, provided the original work is appropriately acknowledged, with correct citation details.


ABSTRACT

The western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) is a common and widespread North American pit viper species, and its venom possesses medical applications. In this research, we identified 14 of the most common transcripts encoding 11 major venom toxins including transcripts for a three-finger toxin (3FTx) from the crude venom of C. atroxIn silico three-dimensional (3D) structures of 9 venom toxins were predicted by using deduced toxin amino acid sequences and a computer programme-MODELLER. The accuracy of all predicted toxin structures was evaluated by five stereochemical structure parameters including discrete optimised protein energy (DOPE) score, root mean square deviation (RMSD), Z-score, overall quality factor (ERRAT), and φ/ψ dihedral angle distribution of toxin backbone Cα residues, resulting that the overall predicted models are satisfied quality evaluation checks. Our present toxin transcripts and simulated individual toxin structures are important not only for revealing species-specific venom gene expression profiles, but also for predicting the toxin-toxin interactions and designing the structure-based toxin inhibitors for the treatment of snakebites.

KEYWORDS: Crotalus atrox, venom, transcript, toxin, 3D structure

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