Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms
Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae), Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae), Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae) and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae). This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK) structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins), revealed the presence of 14 cysteine rich peptides, out of which five were ICK toxins belonging to the CSTX superfamily. This in depth profiling of distinct ICK peptide families identified across the four spider species highlighted the high conservation of these neurotoxins among spider families.