Extracellular matrix molecules as targets for brown spider venom toxins

S.S. Veiga, V.C. Zanetti, A. Braz, O.C. Mangili, W. Gremski
2001 Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research  
Loxoscelism, the term used to describe lesions and clinical manifestations induced by brown spiders venom (Loxosceles genus), has attracted much attention over the last years. Brown spider bites have been reported to cause a local and acute inflammatory reaction that may evolve to dermonecrosis (a hallmark of envenomation) and hemorrhage at the bite site, besides systemic manifestations such as thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, and renal failure. The molecular
more » ... lure. The molecular mechanisms by which Loxosceles venoms induce injury are currently under investigation. In this review, we focused on the latest reports describing the biological and physiopathological aspects of loxoscelism, with reference mainly to the proteases recently described as metalloproteases and serine proteases, as well as on the proteolytic effects triggered by L. intermedia venom upon extracellular matrix constituents such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, entactin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, besides the disruptive activity of the venom on Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm basement membranes. Degradation of these extracellular matrix molecules and the observed disruption of basement membranes could be related to deleterious activities of the venom such as loss of vessel and glomerular integrity and spreading of the venom toxins to underlying tissues. Correspondence
doi:10.1590/s0100-879x2001000700002 pmid:11449301 fatcat:xvfqmjftp5bfzdzatss4bauwxm