第229回 遺伝子機能解析部門セミナー
(第350回 細胞工学研究会講演会)
演題 「Insect biogenic amine receptors: from pharmacology to genetics」
Jia Huang 氏 (Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, P.R. Chin)


  In vertebrates, biogenic amines such as dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine act physiologically as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and neurohormones to regulate many important processes. In contrast, norepinephrine and epinephrine do not appear to be present in insects, as they lack dopamine β-hydroxylase that converts dopamine to norepinephrine. In fact, their role is fulfilled by their invertebrate counterparts, the monoamines tyramine and octopamine. The insect biogenic amines carry out many of the physiological roles such as reproduction, development, growth, circadian rhythms, endocrine secretion, and behaviors. They exert their effects by binding to specific receptor proteins that belong to the superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), many of which have been characterized not only from Drosophila but also from several other insect species. Thus, blocking or over stimulating these GPCRs in pest insects may either result in the death or reduce fitness to control pest populations. On the other hand, many insect biogenic amine GPCRs have been found to show different pharmacological properties with their vertebrate counterparts. Therefore, they can be potential targets for the development of next generation of insecticides. In recent years, we used a combination of approaches from molecular biology, cell biology, neurobiology, immunology and genetics to study the pharmacology and physiology of biogenic amine receptors in lepidopteran insects (Chilo suppressalis and Pieris rapae) and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. According to the above discoveries, we are also developing novel genetic methods to control pests.
 
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