Title: The FXPRLamide (pyrokinin/PBAN) family Authors
Submitted to: Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 14, 2012
Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Citation: Altstein, M., Hariton, A., Nachman, R.J. 2013. The FXPRLamide (pyrokinin/PBAN) family. In: Kastin, A.J., editor. Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides. 2nd edition. Elsevier Press, San Diego, CA. p. 255-266. Interpretive Summary: Insect pests have developed resistance to several conventional pesticides, and new approaches are needed for pest management. Although neuropeptides (short chains of amino acids) serve as potent messengers in insects to regulate vital functions, the neuropeptides hold little promise as pest control agents because they can be degraded in the target pest. New, selective control agents may be developed by designing mimics of these neuropeptides that resist degradation and either inhibit or over-stimulate critical neuropeptide-regulated life functions. This book chapter represents a review of neuropeptides of the ‘pyrokinin’ class that control muscle-contraction, sex pheromone production, overwintering and developmental processes in insects. Structural studies have shed light on how pyrokinin peptides interact with their active site(s). The discoveries reviewed in this chapter will aid in the design of neuropeptide-like compounds capable of disrupting both the reproduction, developmental and overwintering functions of pest insects. The work brings us one step closer to the development of practical neuropeptide-like substances that will be effective in controlling pest insects in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Technical Abstract: The pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PK/PBAN) family is one of the most studied neuropeptide (Np) families in insects, and is one of the most important in insect physiology regulation. Physiological functions regulated by the PK/PBAN peptides include development, mating, muscle contraction, and tanning. Members of the family are found in many Lepidopteran and other insect species. In the present chapter we briefly present a historical perspective of the discovery of the PK/PBAN peptides, provide details on the structure of the PK/PBAN genes and the processing of their pro-hormone to bioactive peptides, describe the distribution of the mRNA and peptides in the insect nervous system, and summarize the current knowledge on the PK/PBAN receptors, their signaling mechanisms and their biological activity. Employment of the PK/PBAN family of peptides as a basis for designing a novel generation of insect control agents based on Np antagonists is also briefly discussed.