The contryphans, a D-tryptophan-containing family of Conus peptides: interconversion between conformers

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We previously characterized contryphan-R, a D-tryptophan-containing octapeptide from the venom of Conus radiatus. In this study, we present evidence that the contryphan family of peptides is widely distributed in venoms of the fish-hunting cone snails. We purified, synthesized and characterized contryphan-Sm from Conus stercusmuscarum venom, and obtained molecular evidence for the existence of a third peptide, contryphan-P from Conus purpurascens venom ducts. The sequences of these three contryphans showed identity in seven of eight amino acids and a conserved pattern of post-translational modification. We also demonstrate that contryphan-Sm equilibrates between two distinct conformational states.

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