Accidents caused by the bites of brown spiders (Loxosceles) generate a clinical condition that often includes a threatening necrotic skin lesion near the bite site along with a remarkable inflammatory response. Systemic disorders such as hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, and acute renal failure may occur, but are much less frequent than the local damage. It is already known that phospholipases D, highly expressed toxins in Loxosceles venom, can induce most of these injuries. However, this spider venom has a great range of toxins that probably act synergistically to enhance toxicity. The other protein classes remain poorly explored due to the difficulty in obtaining sufficient amounts of them for a thorough investigation. They include astacins (metalloproteases), serine proteases, knottins, translationally controlled tumor proteins (TCTP), hyaluronidases, allergens and serpins. It has already been shown that some of them, according to their characteristics, may participate to some extent in the development of loxoscelism. In addition, all of these toxins present potential application in several areas. The present review article summarizes information regarding some functional aspects of the protein classes listed above, discusses the directions that could be taken to materialize a comprehensive investigation on each of these toxins as well as highlights the importance of exploring the full venom repertoire.
Keywords: Astacins; Serine proteases; Serpins; Knottins; TCTP; Hyaluronidases; Allergens; Spider venom.