Insect sodium channels and insecticide resistance



Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials (i.e., electrical impulses) in excitable cells. Although most of our knowledge about sodium channels is derived from decades of studies of mammalian isoforms, research on insect sodium channels is revealing both common and unique aspects of sodium channel biology. In particular, our understanding of the molecular dynamics and pharmacology of insect sodium channels has advanced greatly in recent years, thanks to successful functional expression of insect sodium channels in Xenopus oocytes and intensive efforts to elucidate the molecular basis of insect resistance to insecticides that target sodium channels. In this review, I discuss recent literature on insect sodium channels with emphases on the prominent role of alternative splicing and RNA editing in the generation of functionally diverse sodium channels in insects and the current understanding of the interactions between insect sodium channels and insecticides.


Para DSC1 Sodium channel Knockdown resistance Alternative splicing RNA editing 



The research in the author’s laboratory is supported by NSF grants (IBN 9696092 and IBN 9808156), NIH (GM57440), USDA-NRI (35607-14966) and BARD (IS-3480-03) and the Michigan State University Rackham Endowment Fund. The author thanks past and current lab members for their contributions to the research in the author’s laboratory, thank Dr. Kris Silver and other lab members for critical reading of this article, and Ms. Jung-Eun Lee for assistance with the references.


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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology, Genetics Program and Neuroscience ProgramMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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