Conventional insecticides are highly toxic to many living organisms as well as to the environment; consequently, new biorational and more specific approaches to pest control have been developed. In this paper, we present an update of those approaches resulting from studies on inhibition of enzymes involved in key processes of insects life, particularly growth, molting and development of larvae and intraspecific communication of adults. The enzymes covered include pheromone degrading enzymes, pheromone biosynthetic enzymes, oxidoreductases, juvenile hormones, juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolases, proteases, molting hormones and phenoloxidases. Although these approaches refer to control of insect pests, many of them can be in principle also considered suitable for medicinal chemistry studies, since the mechanism of action of these inhibitors on related enzymes is quite similar, if not equal, in both fields.
Keywords: enzyme inhibitors, pest control, pheromone degrading enzymes, pheromone biosynthetic enzymes, oxidoreductases, juvenile hormones, proteases, molting hormones, phenoloxidases
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