Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Logo for

Science 319 (5871): 1838-1842

Copyright © 2008 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Insect Odorant Receptors Are Molecular Targets of the Insect Repellent DEET

Mathias Ditzen, Maurizio Pellegrino, Leslie B. Vosshall*

Abstract: DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the world's most widely used topical insect repellent, with broad effectiveness against most insects. Its mechanism of action and molecular target remain unknown. Here, we show that DEET blocks electrophysiological responses of olfactory sensory neurons to attractive odors in Anopheles gambiae and Drosophila melanogaster. DEET inhibits behavioral attraction to food odors in Drosophila, and this inhibition requires the highly conserved olfactory co-receptor OR83b. DEET inhibits odor-evoked currents mediated by the insect odorant receptor complex, comprising a ligand-binding subunit and OR83b. We conclude that DEET masks host odor by inhibiting subsets of heteromeric insect odorant receptors that require the OR83b co-receptor. The identification of candidate molecular targets for the action of DEET may aid in the design of safer and more effective insect repellents.

Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 63, New York, NY 10065 USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: leslie{at}mail.rockefeller.edu


THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:
Amiloride Derivatives Are Effective Blockers of Insect Odorant Receptors.
K. Rollecke, M. Werner, P. M. Ziemba, E. M. Neuhaus, H. Hatt, and G. Gisselmann (2013)
Chem Senses 38, 231-236
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Interactions of Anopheles gambiae Odorant-binding Proteins with a Human-derived Repellent: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MODE OF ACTION OF N,N-DIETHYL-3-METHYLBENZAMIDE (DEET).
E. J. Murphy, J. C. Booth, F. Davrazou, A. M. Port, and D. N. M. Jones (2013)
J. Biol. Chem. 288, 4475-4485
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Oesophageal chemoreceptors of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, sense chemical deterrents and can block ingestion of food.
J. F. Aggio, R. Tieu, A. Wei, and C. D. Derby (2012)
J. Exp. Biol. 215, 1700-1710
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Genome-wide profiling of diel and circadian gene expression in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
S. S. C. Rund, T. Y. Hou, S. M. Ward, F. H. Collins, and G. E. Duffield (2011)
PNAS 108, E421-E430
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Insect olfaction from model systems to disease control.
A. F. Carey and J. R. Carlson (2011)
PNAS 108, 12987-12995
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Electrophysiological Recording from Drosophila Olfactory Sensilla.
R. Benton and A. Dahanukar (2011)
Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2011, pdb.prot5630
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Temporal coding of odor mixtures in an olfactory receptor neuron.
C.-Y. Su, C. Martelli, T. Emonet, and J. R. Carlson (2011)
PNAS 108, 5075-5080
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Behavioral insensitivity to DEET in Aedes aegypti is a genetically determined trait residing in changes in sensillum function.
N. M. Stanczyk, J. F. Y. Brookfield, R. Ignell, J. G. Logan, and L. M. Field (2010)
PNAS 107, 8575-8580
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Molecular Tuning of Odorant Receptors and Its Implication for Odor Signal Processing.
J. Reisert and D. Restrepo (2009)
Chem Senses 34, 535-545
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
DEET repels ORNery mosquitoes.
J. A. Pickett, M. A. Birkett, and J. G. Logan (2008)
PNAS 105, 13195-13196
   Full Text »    PDF »
Mosquitoes smell and avoid the insect repellent DEET.
Z. Syed and W. S. Leal (2008)
PNAS 105, 13598-13603
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
FOLLOW THE NOSE.
H. Merzendorfer (2008)
J. Exp. Biol. 211, iv
   Full Text »    PDF »
The molecular and cellular basis of olfactory-driven behavior in Anopheles gambiae larvae.
Y. Xia, G. Wang, D. Buscariollo, R. J. Pitts, H. Wenger, and L. J. Zwiebel (2008)
PNAS 105, 6433-6438
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882