Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels as Insecticide Targets.
Voltage-gated sodium channels are critical for the generation and propagation of action potentials. They are the primary target of several classes of insecticides, including DDT, pyrethroids and sodium channel blocker insecticides (SCBIs). DDT and pyrethroids preferably bind to open sodium channels and stabilize the open state, causing prolonged currents. In contrast, SCBIs block sodium channels by binding to the inactivated state. Many sodium channel mutations are associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to DDT and pyrethroids in diverse arthropod pests. Functional characterization of kdr mutations together with computational modelling predicts dual pyrethroid receptor sites on sodium channels. In contrast, the molecular determinants of the SCBI receptor site remain largely unknown. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of action of pyrethroids and SCBIs, and highlight the differences in the molecular interaction of these insecticides with insect versus mammalian sodium channels.