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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: Sex peptides and MIPs can activate the same G protein-coupled receptor

Authors
item Vandersmissen, Hans Peter -
item Nachman, Ronald
item Vanden Broeck, Josef -

Submitted to: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2013
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Citation: Vandersmissen, H., Nachman, R.J., Vanden Broeck, J. 2013. Sex peptides and MIPs can activate the same G protein-coupled receptor. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 188:137-143.

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 manuscript reviews 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. This information will aid in the development of practical neuropeptide-like substances that can effectively control pest insects in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Technical Abstract: In many animal species, copulation elicits a number of physiological and behavioral changes in the female partner. In Drosophila melanogaster, the main molecular effector of these physiological responses has been identified as sex peptide (SP). The sex peptide receptor (SPR) has been characterized and recently, its activation by Drosophila myoinhibiting peptides (MIPs) – in addition to SP – has been demonstrated. The myoinhibiting peptides are members of a conserved peptide family, also known as B-type allatostatins, which generally feature the C-terminal motif –WX6Wamide.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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