An overview of Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom using combined transcriptomic and proteomic approaches

PLoS One. 2018 Aug 1;13(8):e0200628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200628. eCollection 2018.


Phoneutria nigriventer is one of the largest existing true spiders and one of the few considered medically relevant. Its venom contains several neurotoxic peptides that act on different ion channels and chemical receptors of vertebrates and invertebrates. Some of these venom toxins have been shown as promising models for pharmaceutical or biotechnological use. However, the large diversity and the predominance of low molecular weight toxins in this venom have hampered the identification and deep investigation of the less abundant toxins and the proteins with high molecular weight. Here, we combined conventional and next-generation cDNA sequencing with Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT), to obtain an in-depth panorama of the composition of P. nigriventer spider venom. The results from these three approaches showed that cysteine-rich peptide toxins are the most abundant components in this venom and most of them contain the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK) structural motif. Ninety-eight sequences corresponding to cysteine-rich peptide toxins were identified by the three methodologies and many of them were considered as putative novel toxins, due to the low similarity to previously described toxins. Furthermore, using next-generation sequencing we identified families of several other classes of toxins, including CAPs (Cysteine Rich Secretory Protein-CRiSP, antigen 5 and Pathogenesis-Related 1-PR-1), serine proteinases, TCTPs (translationally controlled tumor proteins), proteinase inhibitors, metalloproteinases and hyaluronidases, which have been poorly described for this venom. This study provides an overview of the molecular diversity of P. nigriventer venom, revealing several novel components and providing a better basis to understand its toxicity and pharmacological activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / chemistry
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Proteomics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spider Venoms / metabolism*
  • Spiders / genetics
  • Spiders / metabolism*
  • Toxins, Biological / genetics
  • Toxins, Biological / metabolism
  • Transcriptome*
  • Tumor Protein, Translationally-Controlled 1


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Peptides
  • Spider Venoms
  • Toxins, Biological
  • Tumor Protein, Translationally-Controlled 1