Adult female mosquitoes vehicle pathogenic microorganisms which cause debilitating diseases such as malaria. The most common insecticides defeat mosquitoes by targeting their nervous system. Nevertheless, the emergency of resistant strains hampers the efficacy of these treatments.
A solution to this problem has been identified by Rene Raphemot, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, USA, and colleagues. The researchers discovered that the compound VU573 (pictured) inhibits mosquitoes’ inward-rectifying potassium channels. These molecules are located on the surface of renal cells and, by regulating the cellular flux of solutes, control the formation of urine. As a consequence, VU573 renders mosquitoes unable to produce and secrete urine, ultimately causing their death or preventing them to fly.
VU573 could, therefore, constitute a novel class of insecticides.
- Eliciting Renal Failure in Mosquitoes with a Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Inward-Rectifying Potassium Channels,
Immo A. Hansen, Rene Raphemot, Matthew F. Rouhier, Corey R. Hopkins, Rocco D. Gogliotti, Kimberly M. Lovell, Rebecca M. Hine, Dhairyasheel Ghosalkar, Anthony Longo, Klaus W. Beyenbach, Jerod S. Denton, Peter M. Piermarini,
PLoS ONE 2013, 8, e64905.