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Title: The saga of cytotoxin evolution–Switching of destructive role to a constructive role
Authors: Panda, Subhamay
Panda, Santamay
Sinha, Jayanta
Keywords: Cytotoxin;cysteine;lysine;molecular evolution;phylogenetic analysis;snake
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Snake venom contains the toxin proteins, cytotoxins. Cytotoxins exert their effect upon the target cells by interacting with membrane lipids and proteins. Ultimate objective of a cytotoxin is to destroy the target cells. These cytotoxins contain cysteine residues responsible for disulphide linkage between them. Similar variety of peptides enriched with cysteine is also found in many other organisms. But interestingly, in those cases they never have a cell destructive function, in turn, they act to be cell-friendly. In this work, we analysed the cytotoxins and related peptides in terms of amino acid percentage profile, multiple sequence alignment, codon usage, isoelectric point determination, protein secondary structure prediction and phylogenetic tree construction through different softwares. Among all the interesting results, lysine profile was very much informative. High amounts of lysine are conserved in all the cytotoxins whereas in other related peptides it is in less numbers. Phylogenetic tree showed a stepwise dynamic evolution of these interesting molecules. This paper, therefore, showed that there is a great possibility to turn harmful natural peptides into a beneficial engineered molecule for the betterment of lives of mankind.
Page(s): 259-265
ISSN: 0975-0967 (Online); 0972-5849 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJBT Vol.08(3) [July 2009]

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