Brown Spider Venom: The Identification and Biotechnological Potential of Venom Toxins

  • Daniele Chaves-Moreira
  • Dilza Trevisan-Silva
  • Luiza Helena Gremski
  • Silvio Sanches Veiga
Reference work entry
Part of the Toxinology book series (TOXI)


Brown spiders (Loxosceles genus) are venomous arthropods that use venom for predation and defense. These spiders have also been associated with human accidents, and the primary clinical manifestations are dermonecrosis with gravitational lesion spreading, hematological disturbances, and acute renal failure. Loxosceles venom comprises a complex mixture of toxins enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa). Characterization of this venom revealed three highly expressed protein classes: phospholipase-D family proteins, astacin-like proteases, and inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) peptides. A recent study also showed the presence of several other venom proteins, such as serine proteases, protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen-like toxins, and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP), expressed at low levels in Loxosceles venom. The Brown spider phospholipase-D family proteins have been well studied, and these toxins alone induce inflammatory responses, dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, and renal failure. In addition, the functional role of hyaluronidases as spreading factors in loxoscelism has been demonstrated. However, the biological characterization of other toxins has not been reported. Nevertheless, the mechanism by which Loxosceles toxins exert noxious effects is not fully elucidated. The aim of this chapter is to provide insights into Brown spider toxins, including the identification of novel toxins using molecular and proteomics approaches, and the biological characterization and structural description of toxins using X-ray crystallography. Putative biotechnological uses of Loxosceles toxins and future perspectives in this field will also be discussed.


Hyaluronic Acid Translationally Control Tumor Protein Venom Gland Crude Venom Spider Venom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniele Chaves-Moreira
    • 1
  • Dilza Trevisan-Silva
    • 1
  • Luiza Helena Gremski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Silvio Sanches Veiga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyFederal University of ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Departament of Medical PathologyClinical Hospital, Federal University of ParanáCuritibaBrazil

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