Nephila clavipes spider belongs to the group of spiders construction of orbital webs, which evolved the ability to synthesize adhesive strands capture for enhance the efficiency of chemical arsenal capture of their prey. Such adhesives strands are found in the central circles of these webs, coated by a viscous solution that covers the entire length of the web in the form of nodules (oil droplets) containing vesicles which store a solution containing proteins, peptides and low molecular weight compounds. Some toxic protein, peptide neurotoxins and low molecular weight non-polypeptide toxins are found within the nodules of the capture web, indicating the possible role of these compounds in the prey capture. Saturated fatty acids found in the web, can possibly act as surfactants aiding the process of destabilization of the insect cuticle, when they are entrapped by the web, allowing the diffusion of the toxins into the body of the prey. Previous studies have described the presence of alkaloids that act as repellents predators in some webs, natural compounds of insecticide, and even some compounds having antimicrobial characteristics. The presence of these molecules are evidence that the web is not a simple tool for mechanical capture and entrap of prey, but suggests a possible active involvement of this complex structure, which seems to play an "active" strategic role in capturing prey. Considering this, the objective of this study is to investigate the proteins/peptides and low molecular weight compounds, present both in silk and silk-producing glands from Nephila clavipes spider web. Therefore, we emphasize in this project the possible toxins involved in the paralysis of prey, and explore the richness of the chemical profile of the low molecular mass compounds; for that different approaches combining techniques/methods such as proteolytic digestion solution, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry (ESI-CID-NanoLC / ETD-MSn) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to a mass detector (GCxGC MS) are used. These findings may provide information that may enable the use of these compounds in the development of selective insecticidal or even possible pharmacological applications.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ESTEVES, FRANCIELE GREGO;
APARECIDO DOS SANTOS-PINTO, JOSE ROBERTO;
SIALANA, FERNANDO J.;
RARES, LUCACIU CALIN;
BACCI JUNIOR, MAURICIO;
PALMA, MARIO SERGIO.
Revealing the Venomous Secrets of the Spider's Web.
JOURNAL OF PROTEOME RESEARCH,
AUG 7 2020.
Web of Science Citations: 0.