Tarantula toxins converted to painkillers -- MEDICA Trade Fair

Tarantula toxins converted to painkillers

When venom from animals such as spiders, snakes or cone snails is injected via a bite or harpoon, the cocktail of toxins delivered to its victim tends to cause serious reactions that, if untreated, can be lethal. But even venom has a therapeutic upside: Individual peptide toxins are being tapped to target receptors in the brain to potentially serve as painkillers.

01/03/2016

Graphic: Peruvian green velvet tarantula

This is the peptide toxin (blue) isolated from the Peruvian green velvet tarantula binds to neuronal cell membranes and inhibits the pain receptor NaV 1.7 (orange) at the cell membrane surface; © Henriques