American Chemical Society
pr7b00414_si_004.xlsx (587.17 kB)

Integrated Venomics and Venom Gland Transcriptome Analysis of Juvenile and Adult Mexican Rattlesnakes Crotalus simus, C. tzabcan, and C. culminatus Revealed miRNA-modulated Ontogenetic Shifts

Download (587.17 kB)
posted on 2017-07-21, 00:00 authored by Jordi Durban, Libia Sanz, Dilza Trevisan-Silva, Edgar Neri-Castro, Alejandro Alagón, Juan J. Calvete
Adult rattlesnakes within genus Crotalus express one of two distinct venom phenotypes, type I (hemorrhagic) and type II (neurotoxic). In Costa Rican Central American rattlesnake, ontogenetic changes in the concentration of miRNAs modulate venom type II to type I transition. Venomics and venom gland transcriptome analyses showed that adult C. simus and C. tzabcan expressed intermediate patterns between type II and type I venoms, whereas C. culminatus had a canonical type I venom. Neonate/juvenile and adult Mexican rattlesnakes showed notable inter- and intraspecific variability in the number, type, abundance and ontogenetic shifts of the transcriptional and translational venom gland activities. These results support a role for miRNAs in the ontogenetic venom compositional changes in the three congeneric Mexican rattlesnakes. It is worth noting the finding of dual-action miRNAs, which silence the translation of neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA2 crotoxin and acidic PLA2 mRNAs while simultaneously up-regulating SVMP-targeting mRNAs. Dual transcriptional regulation potentially explains the existence of mutually exclusive crotoxin-rich (type-II) and SVMP-rich (type-I) venom phenotypic dichotomy among rattlesnakes. Our results support the hypothesis that alterations of the distribution of miRNAs, modulating the translational activity of venom gland toxin-encoding mRNAs in response to an external cue, may contribute to the mechanism generating adaptive venom variability.