Toxin Name δ-hexatoxin-Hv1a
Source Species Hadronyche  versuta (Blue Mountains funnel-web spider)
Toxin Group Hexatoxin
Description Insecticidal and vertebrate-active toxin from the Blue Mountains funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta. Its close relative Atrax robustus is one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. This toxin is responsible for the symptoms observed in humans following envenomation by Australian funnel-web spiders. δ-HXTX-Hv1a slows the inactivation of both vertebrate tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels and insect para-type sodium channels by binding to site 3 of the channel. It is not known whether δ-HXTX-Hv1a is specific for particular vertebrate Nav subtypes. Pan-neuronal expression in Drosophila is lethal but flies engineered to express the toxin only in pacemaker neurons have profound defects in circadian rhythm but a normal lifespan.

An antivenom that neutralizes the effect of the δ-hexatoxins was introduced in Australia in 1981 and there have been no recorded deaths due to bites from Atrax robustus or related funnel-web spiders since this time.
Discovered 1988
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This toxin last updated on Oct 03, 2013

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