Spider venoms are known to contain proteins and polypeptides that perform various functions including antimicrobial, neurotoxic, analgesic, cytotoxic, necrotic, and hemagglutinic activities. Currently, several classes of natural molecules from spider venoms are potential sources of chemotherapeutics against tumor cells. Some of the spider peptide toxins produce lethal effects on tumor cells by regulating the cell cycle, activating caspase pathway or inactivating mitochondria. Some of them also target the various types of ion channels (including voltage-gated calcium channels, voltage-gated sodium channels, and acid-sensing ion channels) among other pain-related targets. Herein we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against the pathophysiological conditions including cancer and pain.
Keywords: Spider venom peptides, Antitumor, Pain, Drug candidates