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House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Genomics, February 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

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33 tweeters
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2 Facebook pages

Citations

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29 Dimensions

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58 Mendeley
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Title
House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity
Published in
BMC Genomics, February 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12864-017-3551-7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Kerry L. Gendreau, Robert A. Haney, Evelyn E. Schwager, Torsten Wierschin, Mario Stanke, Stephen Richards, Jessica E. Garb

Abstract

Black widow spiders are infamous for their neurotoxic venom, which can cause extreme and long-lasting pain. This unusual venom is dominated by latrotoxins and latrodectins, two protein families virtually unknown outside of the black widow genus Latrodectus, that are difficult to study given the paucity of spider genomes. Using tissue-, sex- and stage-specific expression data, we analyzed the recently sequenced genome of the house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), a close relative of black widows, to investigate latrotoxin and latrodectin diversity, expression and evolution. We discovered at least 47 latrotoxin genes in the house spider genome, many of which are tandem-arrayed. Latrotoxins vary extensively in predicted structural domains and expression, implying their significant functional diversification. Phylogenetic analyses show latrotoxins have substantially duplicated after the Latrodectus/Parasteatoda split and that they are also related to proteins found in endosymbiotic bacteria. Latrodectin genes are less numerous than latrotoxins, but analyses show their recruitment for venom function from neuropeptide hormone genes following duplication, inversion and domain truncation. While latrodectins and other peptides are highly expressed in house spider and black widow venom glands, latrotoxins account for a far smaller percentage of house spider venom gland expression. The house spider genome sequence provides novel insights into the evolution of venom toxins once considered unique to black widows. Our results greatly expand the size of the latrotoxin gene family, reinforce its narrow phylogenetic distribution, and provide additional evidence for the lateral transfer of latrotoxins between spiders and bacterial endosymbionts. Moreover, we strengthen the evidence for the evolution of latrodectin venom genes from the ecdysozoan Ion Transport Peptide (ITP)/Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) neuropeptide superfamily. The lower expression of latrotoxins in house spiders relative to black widows, along with the absence of a vertebrate-targeting α-latrotoxin gene in the house spider genome, may account for the extreme potency of black widow venom.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 33 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 58 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 58 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 15 26%
Student > Ph. D. Student 11 19%
Researcher 7 12%
Student > Master 7 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 5%
Other 7 12%
Unknown 8 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 41%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 14 24%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 2 3%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 3%
Computer Science 2 3%
Other 3 5%
Unknown 11 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 19. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 April 2019.
All research outputs
#1,335,458
of 19,035,438 outputs
Outputs from BMC Genomics
#350
of 9,698 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#30,712
of 270,637 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Genomics
#2
of 15 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,035,438 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 9,698 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 270,637 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 15 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.