Abstract P-glycoproteins (P-gps) are efflux transporters found in cells of a broad range of both procaryotic and eukaryotic taxa, whose action is to relieve the cells of multiple, structurally dissimilar, toxic compounds. The possible role of P-gps in defence against the insecticides temephos and diflubenzuron was investigated in the mosquito Aedes caspius (Pallas), also known as Ochlerotatus (Aedes) caspius (Diptera: Culicidae), and the genomic DNA sequences encoding for P-gp transporters were isolated to provide molecular instruments for future research into the expression and characterization of genes codifying for P-gps in this mosquito species.
Mosquito larvae were treated with insecticides alone and in conjunction with a sublethal dose of the P-gp inhibitor verapamil. The inhibition of P-gps reduced the LD50 values of temephos and diflubenzuron by factors of 3.5 and 16.4, respectively, suggesting the potential involvement of P-gps in insecticide defence. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approach, a 481-bp sequence was isolated. The inferred nucleotide sequence shows high homology with the C-terminal sequence of known P-gps. The isolation and characterization of a putative P-gp sequence from Ae. caspius is the first step towards a better molecular understanding of the role played by multidrug transporters in the defence against insecticides in this species. This knowledge may open the way to a novel control strategy based on the inhibition of pest defences. The beneficial consequences of the inhibition of efflux pumps in improving insecticide performance are discussed.