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Article Dans Une Revue Toxins Année : 2024

Predatory and Defensive Strategies in Cone Snails


Cone snails are carnivorous marine animals that prey on fish (piscivorous), worms (vermivorous), or other mollusks (molluscivorous). They produce a complex venom mostly made of disulfide-rich conotoxins and conopeptides in a compartmentalized venom gland. The pharmacology of cone snail venom has been increasingly investigated over more than half a century. The rising interest in cone snails was initiated by the surprising high human lethality rate caused by the defensive stings of some species. Although a vast amount of information has been uncovered on their venom composition, pharmacological targets, and mode of action of conotoxins, the venom–ecology relationships are still poorly understood for many lineages. This is especially important given the relatively recent discovery that some species can use different venoms to achieve rapid prey capture and efficient deterrence of aggressors. Indeed, via an unknown mechanism, only a selected subset of conotoxins is injected depending on the intended purpose. Some of these remarkable venom variations have been characterized, often using a combination of mass spectrometry and transcriptomic methods. In this review, we present the current knowledge on such specific predatory and defensive venoms gathered from sixteen different cone snail species that belong to eight subgenera: Pionoconus, Chelyconus, Gastridium, Cylinder, Conus, Stephanoconus, Rhizoconus, and Vituliconus. Further studies are needed to help close the gap in our understanding of the evolved ecological roles of many cone snail venom peptides.
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hal-04549178 , version 1 (17-04-2024)





Zahrmina Ratibou, Nicolas Inguimbert, Sébastien Dutertre. Predatory and Defensive Strategies in Cone Snails. Toxins, 2024, 16 (2), pp.94. ⟨10.3390/toxins16020094⟩. ⟨hal-04549178⟩
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