Interisland Evolution of Trimeresurus flavoviridis Venom Phospholipase A2 Isozymes
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Trimeresurus flavoviridis snakes inhabit the southwestern islands of Japan. A phospholipase A2 (PLA2), named PL-Y, was isolated from Okinawa T. flavoviridis venom and its amino acid sequence was determined from both protein and cDNA. PL-Y was unable to induce edema. In contrast, PLA-B, a PLA2 from Tokunoshima T. flavoviridis venom, which is different at only three positions from PL-Y, is known to induce edema. A new PLA2, named PLA-B′, which is similar to PLA-B, was cloned from Amami-Oshima T. flavoviridis venom gland. Three T. flavoviridis venom basic [Asp49]PLA2 isozymes, PL-Y (Okinawa), PLA-B (Tokunoshima), and PLA-B′ (Amami-Oshima), are identical in the N-terminal half but have one to four amino acid substitutions in the β1-sheet and its vicinity. Such interisland sequence diversities among them are due to isolation in the different environments over 1 to 2 million years and appear to have been brought about by natural selection for point mutation in their genes. Otherwise, a major PLA2, named PLA2, ubiquitously exists in the venoms of T. flavoviridis snakes from the three islands with one to three synonymous substitutions in their cDNAs. It is assumed that the PLA2 gene is a prototype among T. flavoviridis venom PLA2 isozyme genes and has hardly undergone nonsynonymous mutation as a principal toxic component. Phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequences revealed that T. flavoviridis PLA2 isozymes are clearly separated into three groups, PLA2 type, basic [Asp49]PLA2 type, and [Lys49]PLA2 type. Basic [Asp49]PLA2-type isozymes may manifest their own particular toxic functions different from those of the isozymes of the PLA2 type and [Lys49]PLA2 type.
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