Stonefish (Synanceia spp.) Ichthyocrinotoxins: An ecological review and prospectus for future research and biodiscovery

Lennox-Bulow, Danica, Smout, Michael, Loukas, Alex, and Seymour, Jamie (2023) Stonefish (Synanceia spp.) Ichthyocrinotoxins: An ecological review and prospectus for future research and biodiscovery. Toxicon, 236. 107329.

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Marine organisms possess a diverse array of unique substances, many with wide ranging potential for applications in medicine, industry, and other sectors. Stonefish (Synanceia spp.), a bottom-dwelling fish that inhabit shallow and intertidal waters throughout the Indo-Pacific, harbour two distinct substances, a venom, and an ichthyocrinotoxin. Stonefish are well-known for the potent venom associated with their dorsal spines as it poses a significant risk to public health. Consequently, much of the research on stonefish focusses on the venom, with the aim of improving outcomes in cases of envenomation. However, there has been a notable lack of research on stonefish ichthyocrinotoxins, a class of toxin that is synthesised within specialised epithelial cells (i.e., tubercles) and exuded onto the skin. This has resulted in a substantial knowledge gap in our understanding of these animals. This review aims to bridge this gap by consolidating literature on the ecological functions and biochemical attributes of ichthyocrinotoxins present in various fish species and juxtaposing it with the current state of knowledge of stonefish ecology. We highlight the roles of ichthyocrinotoxins in predator defence, bolstering innate immunity, and mitigating integumentary interactions with parasites and detrimental fouling organisms. The objective of this review is to identify promising research avenues that could shed light on the ecological functions of stonefish ichthyocrinotoxins and their potential practical applications as therapeutics and/or industrial products.

Item ID: 81229
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3150
Keywords: Animal poisons, Ichthyocrinotoxin, Stonefish, Synanceia, Toxins
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 00:07
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3101 Biochemistry and cell biology > 310199 Biochemistry and cell biology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 70%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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