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Profundiconus is the most divergent cone snail genus and its unique phylogenetic position, sister to the rest of the family Conidae, makes it a key taxon for examining venom evolution and diversity. Venom gland and foot transcriptomes of Profundiconus cf. vaubani and Profundiconus neocaledonicus were de novo assembled, annotated, and analyzed for differential expression. One hundred and thirty-seven venom components were identified from P. cf. vaubani and 82 from P. neocaledonicus, with only four shared by both species. The majority of the transcript diversity was composed of putative peptides, including conotoxins, profunditoxins, turripeptides, insulin, and prohormone-4. However, there were also a significant percentage of other putative venom components such as chymotrypsin and L-rhamnose-binding lectin. The large majority of conotoxins appeared to be from new gene superfamilies, three of which are highly different from previously reported venom peptide toxins. Their low conotoxin diversity and the type of insulin found suggested that these species, for which no ecological information are available, have a worm or molluscan diet associated with a narrow dietary breadth. Our results indicate that Profundiconus venom is highly distinct from that of other cone snails, and therefore important for examining venom evolution in the Conidae family.


This article was originally published in Toxins, available at doi:10.3390/toxins11110623.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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