Open Access Open Badges Research article

Transcriptome analysis of Loxosceles laeta (Araneae, Sicariidae) spider venomous gland using expressed sequence tags

Matheus de F Fernandes-Pedrosa13, Inácio de LM Junqueira-de-Azevedo2, Rute M Gonçalves-de-Andrade1, Leonardo S Kobashi2, Diego D Almeida3, Paulo L Ho2 and Denise V Tambourgi1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Imunoquímica, Instituto Butantan, Av. Prof. Vital Brazil, 1500, CEP 05503-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2 Centro de Biotecnologia, Instituto Butantan, Av. Prof. Vital Brazil, 1500, CEP 05503-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

3 Departamento de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Gal. Cordeiro de Farias, s/n, CEP 59010-180, Natal, RN, Brazil

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:279  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-279

Published: 12 June 2008



The bite of spiders belonging to the genus Loxosceles can induce a variety of clinical symptoms, including dermonecrosis, thrombosis, vascular leakage, haemolysis, and persistent inflammation. In order to examine the transcripts expressed in venom gland of Loxosceles laeta spider and to unveil the potential of its products on cellular structure and functional aspects, we generated 3,008 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a cDNA library.


All ESTs were clustered into 1,357 clusters, of which 16.4% of the total ESTs belong to recognized toxin-coding sequences, being the Sphingomyelinases D the most abundant transcript; 14.5% include "possible toxins", whose transcripts correspond to metalloproteinases, serinoproteinases, hyaluronidases, lipases, C-lectins, cystein peptidases and inhibitors. Thirty three percent of the ESTs are similar to cellular transcripts, being the major part represented by molecules involved in gene and protein expression, reflecting the specialization of this tissue for protein synthesis. In addition, a considerable number of sequences, 25%, has no significant similarity to any known sequence.


This study provides a first global view of the gene expression scenario of the venom gland of L. laeta described so far, indicating the molecular bases of its venom composition.