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Matt Jones jonesmat at ohsu.edu
Mon Feb 22 14:54:35 EST 1999

In article <7anc70$boi$1 at winter.news.rcn.net> Chuck Kristensen,
chuck at spiderpharm.com writes:
>For instance, Latrodectus (widow spiders) have different toxins which are
>selective for vertebrates, insects and crustacea. Agelenopsis (grass
>spiders) have toxins which can distinguish different kinds of calcium
>channels (e.g. N, L and P types) and Agelenopsis also has an assortment of
>sodium channel agonists and glutamate receptor blockers.

Chuck, I don't think your idea is off the wall at all. It's the same
evolutionary strategy that our immune system uses. We don't know what
antigen or enemy we'll come up against, so one strategy is to keep a
whole library of drugs or antibodies on board, just in case. Even if most
of them never get used.

Now, a selfish question: Do you know of any spider toxins that
specifically target GABA-A receptors?

Matt Jones

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