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Arthropods are the most diverse animal group on the planet, and occupy almost all ecological niches. Venomous arthropods are a rich source of bioactive compounds evolved for prey capture and defense against predators and/or microorganisms. These highly potent chemical arsenals represent an available source for new insecticidal compounds as they act selectively on their molecular targets. These toxins affect the invertebrate nervous system and, until the moment, several insecticidal compounds belonging to the class of peptides or polyamine-like compounds have been purified and characterized from the venom of arachnids and hymenopterans. This review focuses on invertebrate-specific peptide neurotoxins that have been isolated from the venom ofspiders, scorpions, centipedes, ants, and wasps, discussing their potential in pest control and as invaluable tools in neuropharmacology.


Elisabeth F Schwartz, Caroline B F Mourão, Karla G Moreira, Thalita S Camargos, Márcia R Mortari. Arthropod venoms: a vast arsenal of insecticidal neuropeptides. Biopolymers. 2012;98(4):385-405

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PMID: 23193602

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