A series of analogues of insect juvenile hormone (four geometric isomers of methyl epoxyfarnesenate, several para-substituted epoxygeranyl phenyl ethers, and epoxyfarnesol and its acetate and haloacetate derivatives) was prepared to investigate the binding specificity of the hemolymph juvenile hormone binding protein from the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta. The relative binding affinities were determined by a competition assay against radiolabeled methyl (E,E)-3,11-dimethyl-7-ethyl-m-10,11-epoxytrideca-2,6-dienoate (JH I). The ratio of dissociation constants was estimated by plotting competitor data according to a linear transformation of the dissociation equations describing competition of two ligands for a binding protein. The importance of the geometry of the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon chain is indicated by the fact that the binding affinity is decreased as Z (cis) double bonds are substituted for E (trans) double bonds in the methyl epoxyfarnesenate series; the unepoxidized analogues do not bind. A carboxylic ester function is important although its orientation can be reversed, as indicated by the good binding of epoxyfarnesyl acetate. In the monoterpene series, methyl epoxygeranoate shows no affinity for the binding protein, but substitution of a phenyl or p-carbomethoxyphenyl ether for the ester function imparts a low, but significant affinity. These data taken together with earlier results indicate that the binding site for juvenile hormone in the hemolymph binding protein is characterized by a sterically defined hydrophobic region with polar sites that recognize the epoxide and the ester functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas