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New Insect Repellents Disrupt Olfactory Cues: A Strategy for Pest Protection

A series of compounds that target the highly conserved Orco, and therefore act as broad disruptors of insect odor-sensing

Background

Insects detect specific scents through a large family of specific odorant receptor (ORx) proteins. These ORx proteins form complexes with highly conserved insect co-receptors (Orco) that act as ion channels. When an odor binds to an ORx, the Orco ion channel is opened, ultimately activating a sensory neuron that detects the odor. The research team has developed a series of compounds (including allosteric agonists and antagonists) that target the highly conserved Orco, and therefore act as broad disruptors of insect odor-sensing. The team has also identified a number of ORx modulators, which could enable insect-specific behavior modification strategies.

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