Alpha-latrocrustotoxin monomer

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 4.03 Å
  • Aggregation State: PARTICLE 
  • Reconstruction Method: SINGLE PARTICLE 

wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

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Molecular architecture of black widow spider neurotoxins.

Chen, M.Blum, D.Engelhard, L.Raunser, S.Wagner, R.Gatsogiannis, C.

(2021) Nat Commun 12: 6956-6956

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26562-8
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    7PTX, 7PTY

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Latrotoxins (LaTXs) are presynaptic pore-forming neurotoxins found in the venom of Latrodectus spiders. The venom contains a toxic cocktail of seven LaTXs, with one of them targeting vertebrates (α-latrotoxin (α-LTX)), five specialized on insects (α, β, γ, δ, ε- latroinsectotoxins (LITs), and one on crustaceans (α-latrocrustatoxin (α-LCT)). LaTXs bind to specific receptors on the surface of neuronal cells, inducing the release of neurotransmitters either by directly stimulating exocytosis or by forming Ca 2+ -conductive tetrameric pores in the membrane. Despite extensive studies in the past decades, a high-resolution structure of a LaTX is not yet available and the precise mechanism of LaTX action remains unclear. Here, we report cryoEM structures of the α-LCT monomer and the δ-LIT dimer. The structures reveal that LaTXs are organized in four domains. A C-terminal domain of ankyrin-like repeats shields a central membrane insertion domain of six parallel α-helices. Both domains are flexibly linked via an N-terminal α-helical domain and a small β-sheet domain. A comparison between the structures suggests that oligomerization involves major conformational changes in LaTXs with longer C-terminal domains. Based on our data we propose a cyclic mechanism of oligomerization, taking place prior membrane insertion. Both recombinant α-LCT and δ-LIT form channels in artificial membrane bilayers, that are stabilized by Ca 2+ ions and allow calcium flux at negative membrane potentials. Our comparative analysis between α-LCT and δ-LIT provides first crucial insights towards understanding the molecular mechanism of the LaTX family.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics and Center for Soft Nanoscience, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, 48149, Münster, Germany.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Alpha-latrocrustotoxin-Lt1a1,253Latrodectus tredecimguttatusMutation(s): 0 
Find proteins for Q9XZC0 (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus)
Explore Q9XZC0 
Go to UniProtKB:  Q9XZC0
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupQ9XZC0
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 4.03 Å
  • Aggregation State: PARTICLE 
  • Reconstruction Method: SINGLE PARTICLE 
EM Software:
TaskSoftware PackageVersion

Structure Validation

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Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationJapan--
Max Planck SocietyJapan--
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)Japan--

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2021-12-08
    Type: Initial release