Navigation Links
The first gene-encoded amphibian toxin isolated
Date:8/17/2009

Researchers in China have discovered the first protein-based toxin in an amphibian a 60 amino acid neurotoxin found in the skin of a Chinese tree frog. This finding may help shed more light into both the evolution of amphibians and the evolution of poison.

While gene-encoded protein toxins have been identified in many vertebrate animals, including fish, reptiles and mammals, none have yet been found in amphibians or birds. In the case of poisonous amphibians, like the tropical poison dart frogs, their toxins are usually small chemicals like alkaloids that are extracted from insects and secreted onto the animal's skin.

Therefore, Ren Lai and colleagues were surprised to find a protein toxin while examining the secretions of the tree frog Hyla annectans. They then purified and characterized this new toxin, which they called anntoxin.

In protein sequence and structure, anntoxin was very similar to dendrotoxins (the venoms found in cobras and other mamba snakes) and cone snail toxins, though anntoxin only has two disulfide bridges (a strong link that helps keep proteins folded) compared to three in the other types. The slight differences may account for why anntoxin does not block potassium channels as the other venoms do, but rather sodium channels important for signaling in sensory nerves.

Like these other venoms, though, anntoxin is fast-acting and potent; the researchers found it could produce rapid convulsions, paralysis and respiratory distress in several would-be predators like snakes and birds.

The similarities and differences make anntoxin a very valuable protein for further study, considering amphibians' special niche as the animals bridging the evolutionary land-water gap.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. First human gene implicated in regulating length of human sleep
2. Britains first swine-flu trials under way
3. Launch of the first standard graphical notation for biology
4. First human gets new antibody aimed at hepatitis C virus
5. UBC researchers find first-ever wanderlust gene in tiny bony fish
6. Leicester research paves way for first use in Europe of an insect to fight invasive plant
7. Nottinghamshire Police First Law Enforcement Agency to Deploy ForensicSoft in United Kingdom
8. First genetically-engineered malaria vaccine to enter human trials
9. Spallation Neutron Source sees first target replacement
10. Results of national assessment of first responder location systems to be announced Aug. 3
11. LSUHSC shows for first time infant inhalation of ultrafine air pollution linked to adult lung disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The first gene-encoded amphibian toxin isolated
(Date:3/30/2017)... Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market ... (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein ... use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, ... others), and by region ( North America ... Pacific , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Kathy ... President of Clinical Operations. She brings years of expertise in establishing and leading ... professional foundation as a licensed occupational therapist, through a variety of leadership roles ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... Maryland (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... Olsen, joined with other leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and ... globally recognized Top 3 U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University City Science Center ... ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner academic and ... QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program for ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... further enhances its scientific power by providing investigators access to a high-profile ... to join the scientific advisory board. “We are committed to offering superior ...
Breaking Biology Technology: