Structural clue to spider toxin activity

12 Feb 2015

A paper recently published in FEBS Letters by Dr Mehdi Mobli and coworkers has provided new insights into the mechanism of action of the insecticidal spider toxin Sf1a. The 3D high-resolution structure of Sf1a  was determined by high throughput NUS-NMR methods using the CAI's ultrahigh field 900 MHz spectrometer. The toxin is shown to paralyse insects by blocking the pore of voltage gated sodium channels through a large disordered loop. Sf1a may be a suitable lead for the development of novel bioinsecticides. FEBS J. 2015 Jan 5. doi: 10.1111/febs.13189.