Discovery of the Gene Encoding a Novel Small Serum Protein (SSP) of Protobothrops flavoviridis and the Evolution of SSPs

Kento Inamaru, Ami Takeuchi, Marie Maeda, Hiroki Shibata, Yasuyuki Fukumaki, Naoko Oda-Ueda, Shosaku Hattori, Motonori Ohno, Takahito Chijiwa

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Abstract

Small serum proteins (SSPs) are low-molecular-weight proteins in snake serum with affinities for various venom proteins. Five SSPs, PfSSP-1 through PfSSP-5, have been reported in Protobothrops flavoviridis (“habu”, Pf) serum so far. Recently, we reported that the five genes encoding these PfSSPs are arranged in tandem on a single chromosome. However, the physiological functions and evolutionary origins of the five SSPs remain poorly understood. In a detailed analysis of the habu draft genome, we found a gene encoding a novel SSP, SSP-6. Structural analysis of the genes encoding SSPs and their genomic arrangement revealed the following: (1) SSP-6 forms a third SSP subgroup; (2) SSP-5 and SSP-6 were present in all snake genomes before the divergence of nonvenomous and venomous snakes, while SSP-4 was acquired only by venomous snakes; (3) the composition of paralogous SSP genes in snake genomes seems to reflect snake habitat differences; and (4) the evolutionary emergence of SSP genes is probably related to the physiological functions of SSPs, with an initial snake repertoire of SSP-6 and SSP-5. SSP-4 and its derivative, SSP-3, as well as SSP-1 and SSP-2, appear to be venom-related and were acquired later.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalToxins
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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    Inamaru, K., Takeuchi, A., Maeda, M., Shibata, H., Fukumaki, Y., Oda-Ueda, N., Hattori, S., Ohno, M., & Chijiwa, T. (2020). Discovery of the Gene Encoding a Novel Small Serum Protein (SSP) of Protobothrops flavoviridis and the Evolution of SSPs. Toxins, 12(3), [177]. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030177