Letter | Published:

Structural and biological link between pyrethroids and DDT in new insecticides

Nature volume 272, pages 734736 (20 April 1978) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

WE developed previously a structural model of a nerve membrane receptor for DDT-type insecticides1 which enabled us to synthesise isosteric structures2,3 with high insecticidal activity. Concurrently, Elliott and co-workers4,5 were developing highly active insecticides based on the modification of the structure of naturally occurring pyrethrum. We noted that some of our most active DDT isosteres (Fig. 1) contained a similar structural feature with the pyrethroids, namely the relatively uncommon di-substituted cyclopropane ring. Recently Van den Bercken6 found a close relationship between the action of these two classes of compounds, in experiments with DDT and the pyrethroid allethrin (III, Fig. 1) in the sensory nervous system of the toad (Xenopus laevis). This prompted us to examine the synthesis of compounds which would combine in one molecule the structural features of both the DDT and pyrethroid insecticides. We report here the structures and properties of such compounds recently synthesised in this laboratory.

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Affiliations

  1. Division of Applied Organic Chemistry, CSIRO, P.O. Box 4331, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia

    • G. HOLAN
    • , D. F. O'KEEFE
    • , C. VIRGONA
    •  & R. WALSER

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https://doi.org/10.1038/272734a0

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