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Proteo-transcriptomic analysis identifies potential novel toxins secreted by the predatory, prey-piercing ribbon worm Amphiporus lactifloreus

von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Lüddecke , Tim; Timm, Thomas; Lochnit, Günther; Vilcinskas, Andreas; von Döhren, Jörn; Nilsson, Maria

Nemerteans (ribbon worms) employ toxins to subdue their prey, but research thus far has focused on the small-molecule components of mucus secretions and few protein toxins have been characterized. We carried out a preliminary proteotranscriptomic analysis of putative toxins produced by the hoplonemertean Amphiporus lactifloreus (Hoplonemertea, Amphiporidae). We did not find any variants of known nemertean-specific toxin proteins (neurotoxins, cytotoxins, parbolysins or nemertides) but we identified several toxin-like transcripts expressed strongly in the proboscis, including putative metalloproteinases and sequences resembling sea anemone actitoxins, crown-of-thorn sea star plancitoxins, and multiple classes of inhibitor cystine knot/knottin family proteins. Some of these products were also directly identified in the mucus proteome, supporting their preliminary identification as secreted toxin components. We identified two new nemertean-typical toxin candidates and named them U-nemertotoxin-1 and U-nemertotoxin-2. Our findings provide insight into the largely overlooked venom system of nemerteans and support a hypothesis in which the nemertean proboscis evolved in several steps, from a flesh-melting organ in scavenging nemerteans to a flesh-melting and toxin-secreting venom apparatus in hunting hoplonemerteans.

Additional data complementing the supplementary data of the manuscript.
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AdditionalFile01_BLASTP_Database_NemerteanSpecificToxins.fasta
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AdditionalFile03_Notospermus_MatchesParbolysin.fasta
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AdditionalFile04_ProteomeResults_Epidermis.xlsx
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AdditionalFile05_ProteomeResults_Mucus.xlsx
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AdditionalFile06_IlluminaAdapters_022020.fas
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AdditionalFile10_Transdecoder_Notospermus.pep
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AdditionalFile11_BLASTP_Database_Swissprot.fasta
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AdditionalFile13_BLASTP_Database_APD_AMPs_fasta_DongChuan_03_2020.fasta
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AdditionalFile14_BLASTP_Results_NemerteanToxins_Amphiporus_1e3.tsv
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AdditionalFile16_BLASTP_Results_SwissProt_Amphiporus_1e3.tsv
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AdditionalFile17_BLASTP_Results_SwissProt_Notospermus_1e3
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AdditionalFile18_BLASTP_Results_ToxProt_Amphiporus_1e3.tsv
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AdditionalFile19_BLASTP_Results_ToxProt_Notospermus_1e3
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AdditionalFile20_BLASTP_Results_AMP_Amphiporus_1e3.tsv
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AdditionalFile21_BLASTP_Results_AMP_Notospermus_1e3
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AdditionalFile22_Alignments_ProteomeMucus.zip
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AdditionalFile23_Alignments_TranscriptomeProboscis.zip
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