Agonists/Antagonists of the Insect Kinin and Pyrokinin/PBAN Neuropeptide Classes as Tools for Rational Pest Control

  • Ronald J. NachmanEmail author


While insect neuropeptides of the insect kinin (IK) and pyrokinin/PBAN (PK/PBAN) family are both potent and specific, these molecular messengers are not suitably designed to be effective either as pest insect control agents and/or tools for insect neuroendocrinologists. Neuropeptides are rapidly degraded by peptidases in the hemolymph and tissues within insects and generally exhibit poor bioavailability (Nachman et al. 2001, 2002a, b). The development of potent agonists and antagonists with enhanced biostability and bioavailability can overcome these limitations and can represent a key step in the development of pest management techniques based on neuropeptide analogs capable of disrupting critical life processes regulated by the IK and PK/PBAN families. In two separate sub-sections, a review is presented on what is known about chemical, conformational, and stereochemical aspects of the interaction of the IK and PK/PBAN families with their putative receptors, and how this knowledge can be harnessed to design and develop biostable mimetic analogs that retain an ability to bind, and potentially activate, those receptors. Strategies for the modification of the PK/PBAN neuropeptides to enhance bioavailability characteristics are also discussed and should be applicable to other insect neuropeptide classes.


Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Fluid Secretion Malpighian Tubule Pheromone Production Diapause Hormone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The financial assistance from the USDA/DOD DWFP Initiative (#0500–32000–001–01R), a US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) grant (IS-3356–02), a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Collaborative Research Grant (#LST.CLG.979226), and a Texas Advanced Technology/Research Grant (#000517–0103–2001) is acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgricultureAreawide Pest Management Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, U.STexasUSA

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