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FEBS Lett. 2003 Jul 17;547(1-3):43-50.

Distinct primary structures of the major peptide toxins from the venom of the spider Macrothele gigas that bind to sites 3 and 4 in the sodium channel.

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Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, 1-1-1 Wakayamadai, Shimamoto-Cho, Mishima-Gun, 618-8503, Osaka, Japan. <>


Six peptide toxins (Magi 1-6) were isolated from the Hexathelidae spider Macrothele gigas. The amino acid sequences of Magi 1, 2, 5 and 6 have low similarities to the amino acid sequences of known spider toxins. The primary structure of Magi 3 is similar to the structure of the palmitoylated peptide named PlTx-II from the North American spider Plectreurys tristis (Plectreuridae). Moreover, the amino acid sequence of Magi 4, which was revealed by cloning of its cDNA, displays similarities to the Na+ channel modifier delta-atracotoxin from the Australian spider Atrax robustus (Hexathelidae). Competitive binding assays using several 125I-labelled peptide toxins clearly demonstrated the specific binding affinity of Magi 1-5 to site 3 of the insect sodium channel and also that of Magi 5 to site 4 of the rat sodium channel. Only Magi 6 did not compete with the scorpion toxin LqhalphaIT in binding to site 3 despite high toxicity on lepidoptera larvae of 3.1 nmol/g. The K(i)s of other toxins were between 50 pM for Magi 4 and 1747 nM for Magi 1. In addition, only Magi 5 binds to both site 3 in insects (K(i)=267 nM) and site 4 in rat brain synaptosomes (K(i)=1.2 nM), whereas it showed no affinities for either mammal binding site 3 or insect binding site 4. Magi 5 is the first spider toxin with binding affinity to site 4 of a mammalian sodium channel.

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