Insect epoxide hydrolase: Properties of a purified enzyme from the southern armyworm (Spodoptera eridania)

C. A. Mullin, C. F. Wilkinson

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An epoxide hydrolase purified from midgut microsomes of southern armyworm (Spodoptera eridania) larvae exhibited high activity toward monosubstituted epoxides (1,2-epoxyoctane, 1,2-epoxypropane, and styrene oxide) and lower activity toward cis-1,2-disubstituted epoxides (cyclohexene oxide, and the cyclodienes HEOM, HCE, and chlordene epoxide). Trisubstituted epoxides (2-methyl-2,3-epoxyheptane and JH-1) as well as several cyclodiene insecticides (dieldrin, endrin, endo-epoxyaldrin, and anti-heptachlor epoxide) were refractory to enzymatic attack. It is concluded that both lipophilic and steric factors dictate the substrate specificity of the enzyme. With cyclohexene oxide the enzyme yields the 1R, 2R enantiomer of the trans-diol. The purified enzyme is inhibited by several epoxides and mixed-function oxidase inhibitors and the potency of 3,3,3-trichloro-1,2-epoxypropane and sodium picrylsulfonate suggest the importance of electronic factors in the inhibitory mechanism. Studies with specific amino acid modifiers suggest the presence of an essential lysine or histidine residue at the active site and indicate that the enzyme lacks a metal ion requirement and an essential cysteine residue. The purified enzyme has a molecular weight of 46,000 daltons and amino acid analysis and immunochemical studies show it to be very similar to, but not identical with, the epoxide hydrolase from mammalian liver microsomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-207
Number of pages16
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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