ConoServer, a database for conopeptides

ConoServer is a database specializing in the sequence and structures of conopeptides, which are peptides expressed by carnivorous marine cone snails. A fascinating feature of these peptides is their high specificity and affinity towards human ion channels, receptors and transporters of the nervous system. This makes conopeptides an interesting resource for the physiological studies of neuroreceptors and promising drug leads. Conopeptides are further described here and a selection of recent reviews on the subject can be found here.

Classifications. Conopeptides are classified into disulfide rich (conotoxins) and several classes of disulfide poor peptides. The three classification schemes used in ConoServer, the gene superfamilies, the cysteine frameworks, and the pharmacological families are described and analyzed here.

Post-translational modifications. Conopeptides are heavily post-translationally modified and the list of modifications found naturally or introduced artificially is provided here.

Statistics. Statistics on the currently known conopeptides are provided here. The statistics include: the relationship between conopeptide classification schemes, the sequence consensus between signal peptides of each gene superfamily, the number of entries for each cone snail species, the characteristics of conopeptides for which a three-dimensional structure was determined, the number of patented sequences, and the journals the most cited in the ConoServer.

Number of Entries Species Coverage Links to UniProt, Genbank or PDB
Nucleotides 2839 85 1814
Proteins 6275 112 4797
Structures 221 45 221


  • 2017-01-26 ConoServer now uses JSmol to visualize 3D structures. JSmol does not require Java.
  • 2015-11-16 ConoServer welcome our two new dedicated annotators: Belinda Burgess and Breanna Cunniffe.
  • 2015-05-19 The database was updated from the NCBI protein and nucleic acids databases.
  • 2014-05-26 The batch submission system for the analysis of conotoxin precursor sequences (ConoPrec) was modified. It nows better handle the batch processing and should be able to receive hundreds of sequences at once.
  • 2013-05-17 Major literature update. A number of references from 2012 and 2013 were added to the database, including the most recent transcriptomic studies of cone snails. Numerous sequences were retrieved from the publications as they were not (yet) submited to general databases (GenBank or UniProt-KB).

    A large number of new gene superfamilies have been recently described (see table). This recent activity created some confusion regarding the gene superfamily B, which has been defined three times in recent publications: Puillandre,N. et al. (2012) J. Mol. Evol. 74:297-309, Dutertre,S. et al. (2013) Mol. Cell Proteomics 12:312-329 and Luo,S. et al. (2013) PLoS ONE [ahead]. To resolve this conflict, the nomenclature was changed as follow using the order of publication date: "gene superfamily B1" (conantokins) is from Puillandre et al. 2012, "gene superfamily B2" is from Dutertre et al. 2013, and "gene superfamily B3" is from Luo et al. 2013.

  • 2012-08-08 The gene superfamily classification has now started to be extended to the cysteine poor conopeptide and the gene supefamilies B and C have been created for the conantokins and contulakins, respectively (Jimenez et al. 2007; Puillandre et al. 2012).