Journal article

Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf

Kartik Sunagar, Bryan Grieg Fry, Timothy NW Jackson, Nicholas R Casewell, Eivind AB Undheim, Nicolas Vidal, Syed A Ali, Glenn F King, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Vitor Vasconcelos, Agostinho Antunes



Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typ..

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Awarded by F.C.T (Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia)

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council, UK

Awarded by 'Service de Systematique Moleculaire' of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

KS was funded by PhD grant (SFRH/BD/61959/2009) from F.C.T (Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia). BGF was funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and by the University of Queensland. TNWJ was funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award. NRC was funded by fellowship award (NE/J018678/1) from the Natural Environment Research Council, UK. EABU acknowledges funding from the University of Queensland (International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, UQ Centennial Scholarship, and UQ Advantage Top-Up Scholarship) and the Norwegian State Education Loans Fund. NV was funded by the 'Service de Systematique Moleculaire' of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle [UMS 2700 (OMSI)]. GFK was funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP130103813. SAA was the recipient of postdoctoral fellowship (PDRF Phase II Batch-V) from Higher Education Commission (HEC Islamabad) Pakistan. AA was partially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme and national funds through F. C. T under the projects PEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2013, PTDC/AAC-AMB/104983/2008 (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-008610) and PTDC/AAC-AMB/121301/2010 (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-019490). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.