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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF BOLL WEEVILS AND OTHER ROW CROP PESTS UNDER TRANSITION TO BOLL WEEVIL ERADICATION IN TEMPERATE REGIONS

Location: Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research Unit

Title: B-Type allatostatins and sex peptides

Authors
item Vandersmissen, Hans Peter
item Nachman, Ronald
item Vanden Broeck, Jozef

Submitted to: Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 21, 2011
Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Citation: Vandersmissen, H., Nachman, R.J., Vanden Broeck, J. 2013. B-Type allatostatins and sex peptides. In: Kastin, A.J., editor. Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides. 2nd edition. Elsevier Press, San Diego, CA. p. 203-206.

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 ‘MIP’ class that control locomotory function and also activate the active site for the ‘sex peptide’ in Drosophila melanogaster, a model for important pest flies. Sex peptide is produced by males and is involved in regulation of reproductive behaviors in female flies, and now ‘MIP’ peptides are also implicated in this important function. Structural studies have shed light on why MIP peptides interact with the active site of an entirely different class of peptide hormones. The discoveries reviewed in this chapter will aid in the design of neuropeptide-like compounds capable of disrupting both the locomotory and reproductive functions of these and other flies. 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: In many species, mating induces a number of behavioral changes in the female. For Drosophila melanogaster, the sex peptide (SP) has been identified as the main molecular factor behind these responses. Recently, the sex peptide receptor (SPR), a GPCR activated by SP has also been characterized as responsive to Drosophila myoinhibiting peptides, a conserved peptide family that is also known as B-type allatostatins. These peptides bear the C-terminal hallmark of –WX6Wamide. Given this unexpected link between these peptides, they will be covered together in the following chapter.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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