Unravelling the complex venom landscapes of lethal Australian funnel-web spiders (Hexathelidae: Atracinae) using LC-MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Palagi, Alexandre, Koh, Jennifer M.S., Leblanc, Mathieu, Wilson, David, Dutertre, Sébastien, King, Glenn F., Nicholson, Graham M., and Escoubas, Pierre (2013) Unravelling the complex venom landscapes of lethal Australian funnel-web spiders (Hexathelidae: Atracinae) using LC-MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Journal of Proteomics, 80. pp. 292-310.

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Spider venoms represent vast sources of bioactive molecules whose diversity remains largely unknown. Indeed, only a small subset of species have been studied out of the ~43,000 extant spider species. The present study investigated inter- and intra-species venom complexity in 18 samples collected from a variety of lethal Australian funnel-web spiders (Mygalomorphae: Hexathelidae: Atracinae) using C4 reversed-phase separation coupled to offline MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (LC-MALDI-TOF MS). An in-depth investigation focusing on four atracine venoms (male Illawarra wisharti, male and female Hadronyche cerberea,and female Hadronyche infensa Toowoomba) revealed, on average, ~800 peptides in female venoms while male venoms contained ~400 peptides, distributed across most HPLC fractions. This is significantly higher than previous estimates of peptide expression in mygalomorph venoms. These venoms also showed distinct intersexual as well as intra- and inter-species variation in peptide masses. Construction of both 3D and 2D contour plots revealed that peptide mass distributions in all 18 venoms were centered around the 3200–5400 m/z range and to a lesser extent the 6600–8200 m/z range, consistent with previously described hexatoxins. These findings highlight the extensive diversity of peptide toxins in Australian funnel-web spider venoms that that can be exploited as novel therapeutic and biopesticide lead molecules.

Item ID: 39218
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-7737
Keywords: Atrax species; Hadronyche species; Illawarra wisharti; spider venom; LC-MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry; venom landscapes
Funders: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, French Ministry of Research and Higher Education, Australian Academy of Science, Department of Education, Science and Training
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 03:42
FoR Codes: 03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0304 Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry > 030406 Proteins and Peptides @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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