Biotechnological applications of brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins.
ABSTRACT Loxoscelism (the term used to define accidents by the bite of brown spiders) has been reported worldwide. Clinical manifestations following brown spider bites are frequently associated with skin degeneration, a massive inflammatory response at the injured region, intravascular hemolysis, platelet aggregation causing thrombocytopenia and renal disturbances. The mechanisms by which the venom exerts its noxious effects are currently under investigation. The whole venom is a complex mixture of toxins enriched with low molecular mass proteins in the range of 5-40 kDa. Toxins including alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteases (astacin-like proteases), low molecular mass (5.6-7.9 kDa) insecticidal peptides and phospholipases-D (dermonecrotic toxins) have been identified in the venom. The purpose of the present review is to describe biotechnological applications of whole venom or some toxins, with especial emphasis upon molecular biology findings obtained in the last years.
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ABSTRACT: Hyaluronidases are enzymes that degrade hyaluronan, an important component of the extracellular matrix. The mammalian hyaluronidases are considered to be involved in many (patho)physiological processes like fertilization, tumor growth, and metastasis. Bacterial hyaluronidases, also termed hyaluronate lyases, contribute to the spreading of microorganisms in tissues. Such roles for hyaluronidases suggest that inhibitors could be useful pharmacological tools. Potent and selective inhibitors are not known to date, although L-ascorbic acid has been reported to be a weak inhibitor of Streptococcus pneumoniae hyaluronate lyase (SpnHL). The x-ray structure of SpnHL complexed with L-ascorbic acid has been elucidated suggesting that additional hydrophobic interactions might increase inhibitory activity. Here we show that L-ascorbic acid 6-hexadecanoate (Vcpal) is a potent inhibitor of both streptococcal and bovine testicular hyaluronidase (BTH). Vcpal showed strong inhibition of Streptococcus agalactiae hyaluronate lyase with an IC(50) of 4 microM and weaker inhibition of SpnHL and BTH with IC(50) values of 100 and 56 microM, respectively. To date, Vcpal has proved to be one of the most potent inhibitors of hyaluronidase. We also determined the x-ray structure of the SpnHL-Vcpal complex and confirmed the hypothesis that additional hydrophobic interactions with Phe-343, His-399, and Thr-400 in the active site led to increased inhibition. A homology structural model of BTH was also generated to suggest binding modes of Vcpal to this hyaluronidase. The long alkyl chain seemed to interact with an extended, hydrophobic channel formed by mostly conserved amino acids Ala-84, Leu-91, Tyr-93, Tyr-220, and Leu-344 in BTH.Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2004; 279(44):45990-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
- Journal of Investigative Dermatology 06/2007; 127(5):1264-6. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primary cultures of human keratinocytes were challenged with increasing doses from 10 ng/mL to 2 &mgr;g/mL of Loxosceles gaucho venom, responsible for dermonecrotic lesion in humans. TNF-alpha was investigated by bioassay and ELISA in the supernatant of the cultures challenged with 100 ng/mL, 500 ng/mL, 1 and 2 &mgr;g/mL of venom. TNF-alpha was detected by bioassay in the supernatant of cultures challenged with 100 ng/mL, after 6 h. The cytokine was detected by ELISA in the supernatant of the cells challenged with doses of l &mgr;g/mL, after 6 and 12 h. The results point out the capacity of this venom to activate the keratinocytes in primary cultures to produce TNF-alpha. The production of cytokines could contribute to the local inflammatory process in patients bitten by Loxosceles sp.Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 06/1999; 41(3):179-82. · 0.96 Impact Factor