March 13, 2013
Ke Dong, Michigan State University
Pyrethroids are a large class of structurally diverse, synthetic analogues of natural pyrethrins from the flower extracts of Chrysanthemum spp. The primary target site of pyrethroids is voltage-gated sodium channels, which are essential for the initiation and propagation of action potentials in the nervous system. Currently, pyrethroid insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are the most powerful control measure to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality. A major threat to the sustained use of pyrethroids is the emergence of mosquito resistance to pyrethroids. Due to the lack of a functional expression system for mosquito sodium channels, the pyrethroid receptor site in mosquitoes has remained elusive. Here, we report the establishment of a functional expression system for the Aedes aegypti sodium channel in Xenopus oocytes and identification of molecular determinants that are critical for the binding and action of pyrethroids. Our study provides critical information for monitoring sodium channel mutation mediated pyrethroid-resistance in mosquito populations.