Trifluoromethylketones as possible transition state analog inhibitors of juvenile hormone esterase

Bruce D. Hammock, Keith D. Wing, James McLaughlin, Victor M. Lovell, Thomas C. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


A series of compounds containing the trifluoromethylketone group have been synthesized utilizing either a modified Grignard procedure or by reacting selected aliphatic bromides or tosylates with the Collman reagent [Na2Fe(CO)4]. When tested in vitro as inhibitors of crude juvenile hormone esterase from the hemolymph of the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni (Noctuidae), the most active compounds were trifluoromethylketones possessing either a juvenoid-like structure or a straight aliphatic chain. The logarithm of the inhibitory potency of the aliphatic compounds was proportional to their chain length, up to 1,1,1-trifluorotetradecan-2-one (I50 = 1 × 10-7 M). This powerful inhibition was found to be highly selective for JHE, reversible, competitive by Lineweaver-Burk analysis, and was characterized by high affinity of the inhibitor for the esterase (Ki = 3.2 × 10-9 M, Km JH III = 2 × 10-7 M). Other trifluoromethylketones were shown to be inhibitors of T. ni α-naphthylacetate esterase and bovine trypsin. By analogy with the mechanism of trypsin action, trifluoromethylketones are probably potent inhibitors due to their resemblance to a tetrahedral transition state on the reaction coordinate to the acylated enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-88
Number of pages13
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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