QIMR Berghofer

The Aromatic Head Group of Spider Toxin Polyamines Influences Toxicity to Cancer Cells


Spider venoms constitute incredibly diverse libraries of compounds, many of which are involved in prey capture and defence. Polyamines are often prevalent in the venom and target ionotropic glutamate receptors. Here we show that a novel spider polyamine, PA(366), containing a hydroxyphenyl-based structure is present in the venom of several species of tarantula, and has selective toxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. By contrast, a polyamine from an Australian funnel-web spider venom, which contains an identical polyamine tail to PA(366) but an indole-based head-group, is only cytotoxic at high concentrations. Our results suggest that the ring structure plays a role in the cytotoxicity and that modification to the polyamine head group might lead to more potent and selective compounds with potential as novel cancer treatments.

Authors Wilson, David; Boyle, Glen M.; McIntyre, Lachlan; Nolan, Matthew J.; Parsons, Peter G.; Smith, Jennifer J.; Tribolet, Leon; Loukas, Alex; Liddell, Michael J.; Rash, Lachlan D.; Daly, Norelle L.
Journal Toxins
Volume 9
Date 1/11/2017
Grant ID
Funding Body National Breast Cancer Foundation
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.3390/toxins9110346