Spider peptide toxins as leads for drug development

Pierre Escoubas, Frank Bosmans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Venomous animals use a highly complex cocktails of proteins, peptides and small molecules to subdue and kill their prey. As such, venoms represent highly valuable combinatorial peptide libraries, displaying an extensive range of pharmacological activities, honed by natural selection. Modern analytical technologies enable us to take full advantage of this vast pharmacological cornucopia in the hunt for novel drug leads. Spider venoms represent a resource of several million peptides, which selectively target specific subtypes of ion channels. Structure-function studies of spider toxins are leading not only to the discovery of novel molecules, but also to novel therapeutic routes for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neuromuscular diseases, pain and to a variety of other pathological conditions. This review presents an overview of spider peptide toxins as candidates for therapeutics and focuses on their applications in the discovery of novel mechanisms of analgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-835
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug discovery
  • Ion channels
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Pain
  • Peptide toxins
  • Spider venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Spider peptide toxins as leads for drug development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this