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Holland Lab | Venom
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A tarantula spider inside a glass cage

Spiders are some of the most successful venomous animals on the planet. There have been over 50,000 species of spider described and each spider’s venom contains hundreds to thousands of biologically active components. Our group has been focused on characterizing inhibitor cysteine knot (ICK) neurotoxins extracted from tarantula venom. These ICK peptides bind and modulate a diverse range of ion channels with high selectivity and affinity making them indispensable tools for elucidating the function of ion channels. We are studying the neurotoxin structures with conventional solution NMR and probing how they interact with model lipid membranes and channels with solid-state NMR approaches.