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Open AccessReview

Centipede Venom: Recent Discoveries and Current State of Knowledge

1
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
2
School of Biological Sciences, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicholas R. Casewell
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 679-704; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030679
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known about centipede venom and its composition. Advances in analytical tools, however, have recently provided the first detailed insights into the composition and evolution of centipede venoms. This has revealed that centipede venom proteins are highly diverse, with 61 phylogenetically distinct venom protein and peptide families. A number of these have been convergently recruited into the venoms of other animals, providing valuable information on potential underlying causes of the occasionally serious complications arising from human centipede envenomations. However, the majority of venom protein and peptide families bear no resemblance to any characterised protein or peptide family, highlighting the novelty of centipede venoms. This review highlights recent discoveries and summarises the current state of knowledge on the fascinating venom system of centipedes. View Full-Text
Keywords: centipede venom; toxins; evolution; pharmacology; envenomation centipede venom; toxins; evolution; pharmacology; envenomation
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Undheim, E.A.B.; Fry, B.G.; King, G.F. Centipede Venom: Recent Discoveries and Current State of Knowledge. Toxins 2015, 7, 679-704.

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