Juvenile hormone esterase: Biochemistry and structure

Shizuo G. Kamita, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Normal insect development requires a precisely timed, precipitous drop in hemolymph juvenile hormone (JH) titer. This drop occurs through a coordinated halt in JH biosynthesis and increase in JH metabolism. In many species, JH esterase (JHE) is critical for metabolism of the resonance-stabilized methyl ester of JH. JHE metabolizes JH with a high kcat/KM ratio that results primarily from an exceptionally low KM. Here we review the biochemistry and structure of authentic and recombinant JHEs from six insect orders, and present updated diagnostic criteria that help to distinguish JHEs from other carboxylesterases. The use of a JHE-encoding gene to improve the insecticidal efficacy of biopesticides is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pesticide Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Carboxylesterase
  • Inhibitor
  • JH
  • Juvenile hormone esterase (JHE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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