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Toxins 2015, 7(12), 5055-5067; doi:10.3390/toxins7124862

Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

Key Laboratory of Protein Chemistry and Developmental Biology of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard J. Lewis and Glenn F. King
Received: 2 August 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
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Abstract

Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. View Full-Text
Keywords: widow spider; venom; toxin; latrotoxin; latroeggtoxin; advance widow spider; venom; toxin; latrotoxin; latroeggtoxin; advance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yan, S.; Wang, X. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins. Toxins 2015, 7, 5055-5067.

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