Comparative inhibition of the juvenile hormone esterases from Trichoplusia ni, Tenebrio molitor, and Musca domestica

Thomas C. Sparks, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Twenty-seven compounds were screened as potential inhibitors of juvenile hormone esterases. Of these compounds O-ethyl-S-phenyl phosphoramidothiolate provided the best inhibition for the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni (Hubner), and the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L., while the juvenile hormone esterases of the house fly, Musca domestica L., were best inhibited by a juvenoid carbamate (1-(m-phenoxy-N-ethyl carbamate)-3,7-dimethyl-7-methoxy-2E-octene). The inhibition patterns of T. ni and T. molitor are similar, while those of M. domestica are relatively different. Further studies on the juvenile hormone and α-napthyl acetate esterases of T. ni showed that they could be differentially inhibited. Diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate and an alkyl trifluoromethyl ketone selectively inhibit the hydrolysis of α-naphthyl acetate and juvenile hormone, respectively, while O-ethyl-S-phenyl phosporamidothiolate inhibits both enzymes. The juvenile hormone esterases of T. ni also appear to be unique enzymes that are selective for juvenile-hormone-like molecules. The in vivo inhibition of T. ni juvenile hormone esterases by O-ethyl-S-phenyl phosphoramidothiolate slows the in vivo hydrolysis of juvenile hormone and results in delayed pupation and malformed larvae that resemble larval-pupal intermediates. Thus, the esterases involved in juvenile hormone metabolism appear to be important in juvenile hormone regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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