BACKGROUND: It has been reported previously that piperonyl butoxide (PBO) can inhibit both P450 and esterase activity. Although the method by which PBO combines with cytochrome P450 has been identified, the way in which it acts as an esterase inhibitor has not been established. This paper characterises the interactions between PBO and the resistance-associated esterase in Myzus persicae, E4.
RESULTS: After incubation with PBO/analogues, hydrolysis of 1-naphthyl acetate by E4 is increased, but sequestration of azamethiphos is reduced. Rudimentary in silico modelling suggests PBO docks at the lip of the aromatic gorge.
CONCLUSIONS: PBO binds with E4 to accelerate small substrates to the active-site triad, while acting as a blockade to larger, insecticidal molecules. Structure–activity studies with analogues of PBO also reveal the essential chemical moieties present in the molecule. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry