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UniProt release 10.2

Published April 3, 2007


Spider dermonecrotic toxin family

Loxosceles is the genus of spiders that includes the infamous brown recluse spider Loxosceles reclusa. These spiders, also called violin spiders or fiddleback spiders because of violin-like marks on their cephalothorax, are brownish-yellow in color, and spin small, irregular webs under rocks, or in nooks and crannies of your house. These spiders are found in the USA, South America, Europe and Africa. Their most characteristic feature is actually their eyes: most spiders have eight eyes, but Loxosceles have six, arranged in three pairs, or dyads, that sit side-by-side.

The bite of a Loxosceles spider is not deadly, but it is very unpleasant - the venom is necrotoxic, causing tissue to die and fall off. Pain usually doesn't begin until 6-12 hours after the bite occurs. Loxosceles' necrotoxic venom is cytotoxic and hemolytic. It contains at least 8 enzymes; the enzyme thought to be responsible for most of the destructive effects is called Sphingomyelinase D. This enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin and causes hemolysis and dermonecrosis.

The annotation of this family of toxin has just been updated in UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot (e.g. Q8I914 and P83045.

UniProtKB News

Cross-references to BuruList

Cross-references have been added to the Mycobacterium ulcerans genome database. This database is dedicated to the analysis of the genome of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the Buruli ulcer bacillus: BuruList. BuruList provides a complete dataset of DNA and protein sequences derived from the epidemic strain Agy99, linked to the relevant annotations and functional assignments. It allows one to easily browse through these data and retrieve information, using various criteria (gene names, location, keywords, etc.).

The Mycobacterium ulcerans genome database is available at

The format of the explicit links in the flat file is:

Resource abbreviation BuruList
Resource identifier Ordered locus name.
DR   BuruList; MUL_4631; -.

Changes concerning keywords

New keyword: