The western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) is a common and widespread North American pit viper species, and its venom possesses medical applications. In this research, we identified 14 of the most common transcripts encoding 11 major venom toxins including transcripts for a three-finger toxin (3FTx) from the crude venom of C. atrox. In silico three-dimensional (3D) structures of 9 venom toxins were predicted by using deduced toxin amino acid sequences and a computer programme-MODELLER. The accuracy of all predicted toxin structures was evaluated by five stereochemical structure parameters including discrete optimised protein energy (DOPE) score, root mean square deviation (RMSD), Z-score, overall quality factor (ERRAT), and φ/ψ dihedral angle distribution of toxin backbone Cα residues, resulting that the overall predicted models are satisfied quality evaluation checks. Our present toxin transcripts and simulated individual toxin structures are important not only for revealing species-specific venom gene expression profiles, but also for predicting the toxin-toxin interactions and designing the structure-based toxin inhibitors for the treatment of snakebites.
Jia Y, Lopez I, Kowalski P. Toxin transcripts in Crotalus atrox venom and in silico structures of toxins. J Venom Res. 2020 Jun 17;10:18-22.
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Journal of Venom Research