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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Significance of the sulfonylurea receptor ( SUR) as the target of diflubenzuron in chitin synthesis inhibition in Drosophila melanogaster and Blattella germanica.

Diflubenzuron (DIMILIN) is a powerful insecticidal chemical which has been known for many years to inhibit chitin synthesis in vivo in insects and related arthropod species. However, its action mechanism has remained unresolved partly because of its inaction on any of the enzymes involved in chitin synthesis in vitro. Based on our previous work (Diflubenzuron affects gamma-thioGTP stimulated Ca2+ transport in vitro in intracellular vesicles from the integument of the newly molted American cockroach, Periplaneta americana L. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 24 (1994) 1009) showing that diflubenzuron inhibits Ca2+ uptake by vesicles obtained from the integument of American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (L.), in vitro, we tested the hypothesis that the action site of diflubenzuron is an ABC (ATP binding cassette) transporter, probably a sulfonylurea-sensitive transporter. Glibenclamide, one of the most commonly used sulfonylureas for type II diabetes treatment, was the positive control. When given to immature insects, glibenclamide clearly caused toxicity, with symptoms indicating molting abnormality comparable to diflubenzuron. Its LD50 (0.472 microg/nymph) was approximately 2.8 times the value obtained for diflubenzuron (0.17 microg/nymph, topical) in German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). However, in terms of the inhibitory activities on chitin synthesis, in isolated integuments glibenclamide showed an identical potency to diflubenzuron in B. germanica nymphs. A competitive binding assay with [3H]-glibenclamide and unlabeled diflubenzuron clearly established that the latter is capable of competitively displacing the former radioligand. The KD values observed for vesicles prepared from fruit fly larvae, Drosophila melanogaster M., were 44.9 nM for glibenclamide and 65.0 nM for diflubenzuron, respectively. Furthermore, glibenclamide was found to affect Ca2+ uptake by isolated cuticular vesicles from B. germanica in a manner very similar to diflubenzuron. These results support our conclusion that the sulfonylurea receptor ( SUR) is the target of diflubenzuron in inhibition of chitin synthesis in these two insect species.[1]


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