Gaba receptor insecticide non-competitive antagonists may bind at allosteric modulator sites

Richard J. Law, Felice C Lightstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Results from several studies have shown that a series of chemically distinct insecticide compounds (picrotoxin, BIDN, TBPS, fipronil, lindane, EBOB, and α-endosulfan) affect GABAA receptor function. In this investigation, docking of this set of insecticides to the GABA receptor identified five potential binding sites. The lowest energy site was found within the base of the transmembrane bundle, interacting with M2 but not in the pore, and includes many of the residues previously experimentally implicated in insecticide binding. Many of the binding modes are suggestive of a non-competitive allosteric mechanism based on interruption of the channel gating mechanism rather than directly blocking the channel. The results also distinguished between isomers of hexachlorohexane (HCH), where γ-HCH (lindane) binds more favorably than β-HCH. The results suggest multiple sites for insecticide binding and may suggest further mutagenesis and labeling work to either confirm or rule out these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-734
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • BIDN
  • EBOB and α-endosulfan
  • Fipronil
  • GABA receptor
  • Lindane
  • Picrotoxin
  • TBPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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