Juvenile hormone esterase is a biochemical anti-juvenile hormone agent

Matthew L. Philpott, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Juvenile hormone esterase, purified by affinity chromatography from the larval hemolymph of Manduca sexta in the fifth stadium, was injected into larvae of the same species in the earlier stadia resulting in a blackening of the cuticle following ecdysis to the next larval stadium. This anti-juvenile hormone response was dose-dependent for an injection in the second, third or fourth stadium. Cuticular blackening was prevented by treating larvae with the juvenoid epofenonane. Larval response to injected juvenile hormone esterase also varied with the time of injection within a single stadium, having a maximum effect for injections at the time of head capsule slippage. Juvenile hormone esterase activity measured from the hemolymph after injection of larvae in the second stadium decreased over an 11 h time-course. Because the anti-juvenile hormone effects resulting from a single injection of juvenile hormone esterase were dependent on the time of injection, it appears that when juvenile hormone biosynthesis is active in the insect, the duration of enzyme activity limits the anti-juvenile effects that can be induced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalInsect Biochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • affinity chromatography of esterase
  • anti-juvenile hormone agent
  • biological role of esterase
  • juvenile hormone esterase
  • Manduca sexta


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