Ero1-mediated reoxidation of protein disulfide isomerase accelerates the folding of cone snail toxins

Henrik O’brien, Shingo Kanemura, Masaki Okumura, Robert P. Baskin, Pradip K. Bandyopadhyay, Baldomero M. Olivera, Lars Ellgaard, Kenji Inaba, Helena Safavi-Hemami

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Disulfide-rich peptides are highly abundant in nature and their study has provided fascinating insight into protein folding, structure and function. Venomous cone snails belong to a group of organisms that express one of the largest sets of disulfide-rich peptides (conotoxins) found in nature. The diversity of structural scaffolds found for conotoxins suggests that specialized molecular adaptations have evolved to ensure their efficient folding and secretion. We recently showed that canonical protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and a conotoxin-specific PDI (csPDI) are ubiquitously expressed in the venom gland of cone snails and play a major role in conotoxin folding. Here, we identify cone snail endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin-1 (Conus Ero1) and investigate its role in the oxidative folding of conotoxins through reoxidation of cone snail PDI and csPDI. We show that Conus Ero1 preferentially reoxidizes PDI over csPDI, suggesting that the reoxidation of csPDI may rely on an Ero1-independent molecular pathway. Despite the preferential reoxidation of PDI over csPDI, the combinatorial effect of Ero1 and csPDI provides higher folding yields than Ero1 and PDI. We further demonstrate that the highest in vitro folding rates of two model conotoxins are achieved when all three enzymes are present, indicating that these enzymes may act synergistically. Our findings provide new insight into the generation of one of the most diverse classes of disulfide-rich peptides and may improve current in vitro approaches for the production of venom peptides for pharmacological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3418
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Cone snail toxins
  • Disulfide-rich venom peptides
  • Endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin-1 (Ero1)
  • Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI)


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