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Toxins 2018, 10(12), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120522

Loxosceles gaucho Spider Venom: An Untapped Source of Antimicrobial Agents

1
Special Laboratory for Applied Toxinology (LETA), Butantan Institute, São Paulo CEP 05503-900, SP, Brazil
2
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo CEP 05508-900, SP, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Abstract

The remarkable ability of microorganisms to develop resistance to conventional antibiotics is one of the biggest challenges that the pharmaceutical industry currently faces. Recent studies suggest that antimicrobial peptides discovered in spider venoms may be useful resources for the design of structurally new anti-infective agents effective against drug-resistant microorganisms. In this work, we found an anionic antibacterial peptide named U1-SCRTX-Lg1a in the venom of the spider Loxosceles gaucho. The peptide was purified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), its antimicrobial activity was tested through liquid growth inhibition assays, and its chemical properties were characterized using mass spectrometry. U1-SCRTX-Lg1a was found to show a monoisotopic mass of 1695.75 Da, activity against Gram-negative bacteria, a lack of hemolytic effects against human red blood cells, and a lack of cytotoxicity against human cervical carcinoma cells (HeLa). Besides this, the sequence of the peptide exhibited great similarity to specific regions of phospholipases D from different species of Loxosceles spiders, leading to the hypothesis that U1-SCRTX-Lg1a may have originated from a limited proteolytic cleavage. Our data suggest that U1-SCRTX-Lg1a is a promising candidate for the development of new antibiotics that could help fight bacterial infections and represents an exciting discovery for Loxosceles spiders. View Full-Text
Keywords: Loxosceles; venom; anionic antimicrobial peptides; antimicrobial resistance Loxosceles; venom; anionic antimicrobial peptides; antimicrobial resistance
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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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Segura-Ramírez, P.J.; Silva Júnior, P.I. Loxosceles gaucho Spider Venom: An Untapped Source of Antimicrobial Agents. Toxins 2018, 10, 522.

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