Brown Spider ( Loxosceles) Venom Toxins as Potential Biotools for the Development of Novel Therapeutics

Toxins (Basel). 2019 Jun 19;11(6):355. doi: 10.3390/toxins11060355.


Brown spider envenomation results in dermonecrosis with gravitational spreading characterized by a marked inflammatory reaction and with lower prevalence of systemic manifestations such as renal failure and hematological disturbances. Several toxins make up the venom of these species, and they are mainly peptides and proteins ranging from 5-40 kDa. The venoms have three major families of toxins: phospholipases-D, astacin-like metalloproteases, and the inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) peptides. Serine proteases, serpins, hyaluronidases, venom allergens, and a translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) are also present. Toxins hold essential biological properties that enable interactions with a range of distinct molecular targets. Therefore, the application of toxins as research tools and clinical products motivates repurposing their uses of interest. This review aims to discuss possibilities for brown spider venom toxins as putative models for designing molecules likely for therapeutics based on the status quo of brown spider venoms. Herein, we explore new possibilities for the venom components in the context of their biochemical and biological features, likewise their cellular targets, three-dimensional structures, and mechanisms of action.

Keywords: Loxosceles; biotools; brown spider; drug targets; novel therapeutics; toxins; venom.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Insecticides / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases* / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases* / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Spider Venoms* / chemistry
  • Spider Venoms* / pharmacology


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Insecticides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Spider Venoms
  • loxosceles venom
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases