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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352165

Research Project: Detection and Biologically Based Management of Row Crop Pests Concurrent with Boll Weevil Eradication

Location: Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research

Title: G protein-coupled receptors in arthropod vectors: Omics and pharmacological approaches to elucidate ligand-receptor interactions and novel organismal functions

item PIETRANTONIO, PATRICIA - Texas A&M University
item XIONG, CAIXING - Texas A&M University
item Nachman, Ronald
item SHEN, YANG - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2018
Publication Date: 5/25/2018
Citation: Pietrantonio, P.V., Xiong, C., Nachman, R.J., Shen, Y. 2018. G protein-coupled receptors in arthropod vectors: Omics and pharmacological approaches to elucidate ligand-receptor interactions and novel organismal functions. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 29:12-20.

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 reviews the gene blueprint, the neuropeptide structure, and the active site for diapause hormone, which induces agricultural insect pests to enter a state of ‘hibernation’ to circumvent unfavorable seasons. The chapter also reviews development of neuropeptide mimics that can prevent the onset of the protective state of diapause in the corn earworm, inducingthe crop pest to commit a form of ‘ecological suicide’. Alternatively, still other mimics can block the activity of the native hormone. The book chapter reviews research results that provide the basis for development of practical neuropeptide-like substances that can effectively control pest insects in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Technical Abstract: Regulation of most physiological processes in animals, certainly those controlled by neuropeptide hormones, involves G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Our work focusing on endocrine regulation of diuresis and water balance in mosquitoes and ticks started in 1997 with the kinin receptor, at the dawn of the OMICs era. After the genomic revolution, we began work on the endocrinology of reproduction in the red imported fire ant. We will use the template of this comparative work to summarize key points about GPCRs and signaling, and emphasize the most recent developments in the pharmacology of arthropod neuropeptide GPCRs. We will discuss OMICs contributions to the advancement of this field, and its influence on peptidomimetic design while emphasizing work on blood feeding arthropods.