, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 263-270

Enzymatic processing of pheromones and pheromone analogs

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Pheromone perception requires rapid enzymatic degradation of the active chemical signal in the sensory hairs. Three insects are used to illustrate chemical approaches to studying the degradation of pheromones by antennal enzymes. First, hydrolysis of acetate and haloacetate esters is examined in the diamondback moth,Plutella xylostella. Second, aldehyde oxidation and the selective inhibition of the oxidase and dehydrogenase activities are described for the tobacco budworm moth,Heliothis virescens. Finally, a stereochemical analysis of the epoxide-hydrase catalyzed addition of a water molecule to the oxirane ring of disparlure is described for the gypsy moth,Lymantria dispar.