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Evaluation of AaDOP2 receptor antagonists reveals antidepressants and antipsychotics as novel lead molecules for control of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti


, : Evaluation of AaDOP2 receptor antagonists reveals antidepressants and antipsychotics as novel lead molecules for control of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 352(1): 53-60

The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, vectors disease-causing agents that adversely affect human health, most notably the viruses causing dengue and yellow fever. The efficacy of current mosquito control programs is challenged by the emergence of insecticide-resistant mosquito populations, suggesting an urgent need for the development of chemical insecticides with new mechanisms of action. One recently identified potential insecticide target is the A. aegypti D1-like dopamine receptor, AaDOP2. The focus of the present study was to evaluate AaDOP2 antagonism both in vitro and in vivo using assay technologies with increased throughput. The in vitro assays revealed AaDOP2 antagonism by four distinct chemical scaffolds from tricyclic antidepressant or antipsychotic chemical classes, and elucidated several structure-activity relationship trends that contributed to enhanced antagonist potency, including lipophilicity, halide substitution on the tricyclic core, and conformational rigidity. Six compounds displayed previously unparalleled potency for in vitro AaDOP2 antagonism, and among these, asenapine, methiothepin, and cis-(Z)-flupenthixol displayed subnanomolar IC50 values and caused rapid toxicity to A. aegypti larvae and/or adults in vivo. Our study revealed a significant correlation between in vitro potency for AaDOP2 antagonism and in vivo toxicity, suggesting viability of AaDOP2 as an insecticidal target. Taken together, this study expanded the repertoire of known AaDOP2 antagonists, enhanced our understanding of AaDOP2 pharmacology, provided further support for rational targeting of AaDOP2, and demonstrated the utility of efficiency-enhancing in vitro and in vivo assay technologies within our genome-to-lead pipeline for the discovery of next-generation insecticides.

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Accession: 053060450

PMID: 25332454

DOI: 10.1124/jpet.114.219717

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