Gerry Brooks and epoxide hydrolases: Four decades to a pharmaceutical

Christophe Morisseau, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The pioneering work of Gerry Brooks on cyclodiene insecticides led to the discovery of a class of enzymes known as epoxide hydrolases. The results from four decades of work confirm Brooks' first observations that the microsomal epoxide hydrolase is important in foreign compound metabolism. Brooks and associates went on to be the first to carry out a systematic study of the inhibition of this enzyme. A second role for this enzyme family was in the degradation of insect juvenile hormone (JH). JH epoxide hydrolases have now been cloned and expressed from several species, and there is interest in developing inhibitors for them. Interestingly, the distantly related mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolase has emerged as a promising pharmacological target for treating hypertension, inflammatory disease and pain. Tight-binding transition-state inhibitors were developed with good ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion). These compounds stabilize endogenous epoxides of fatty acids, including arachidonic acid, which have profound therapeutic effects. Now EHs from microorganisms and plants are used in green chemistry. From his seminal work, Dr Brooks opened the field of epoxide hydrolase research in many directions including xenobiotic metabolism, insect physiology and human health, as well as asymmetric organic synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-609
Number of pages16
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Asymmetric organic synthesis
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Juvenile hormone
  • Xenobiotic metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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