Image: Stonefish spines
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Researchers based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging have solved the X-ray crystal structure of the lethal factor present in stonefish venom. Their discoveries have provided unexpected insight into a crucial human immune response that is responsible for the failure of up to 30% of bone marrow transplant therapies for treating leukaemia. The structural insights obtained from stonefish venom are now being used to develop immunosuppressants to improve the success rate of transplant therapies. The work, published today in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), reveals that the lethal component of stonefish venom, a protein called Stonustoxin, is an ancient relative of the human immune protein perforin.

Media issued by ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging

Photo credit: 

Image courtesy: Prof. Jamie Seymour, James Cook University​