A New Spin on a Spider Venom

Spider Venom Offers Neuroprotection After Stroke


As the second leading cause of death worldwide, stroke causes neuronal damage and often a decline in cognitive function. Surprisingly, there are no treatments available to protect the brain from injury from stroke. A research team, led by Irène R. Chassagnon out of the University of Queensland, has discovered a family of four peptides from the venom of the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche infensa (Hi1a). The peptides are similar to acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) inhibitor, PcTx1. Despite sharing N-terminal similarities to PcTx1, the Hi1a peptides are longer and pH-independent, have non-competitive inhibition, and possess a slow off-rate. It is also a double-knot toxin, common to many spider toxins, in which the ICK domains are connected head-to-tail and forms an inhibitor cysteine knot resulting in protease resistance and chemical and thermal stability. Furthermore, it provides protection to the striatal core region of the brain. Another benefit is that Hi1a has a longer treatment window (possibly up to eight hours), unlike the current stroke medication, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which has a two-hour treatment window.1


  1. I.R. Chassagnon et al., PNAS, (2017). doi:10.1073/pnas.1614728114
Industry News

Denise Karounos

See all articles from Denise Karounos

Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.