P450s in plant-insect interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) are integral in defining the relationships between plants and insects. Secondary metabolites produced in plants for protection against insects and other organisms are synthesized via pathways that include P450s in many different families and subfamilies. Survival of insects in the presence of toxic secondary metabolites depends on their metabolism by more limited groups of P450s. Examples of functionally characterized plant and insect P450s known to be involved in these interactions are discussed in terms of their diversities, reactivities and regulators. These and future examples, which will be uncovered as the fields of plant biology and entomology converge on this interesting area, provide much insight into the array of plant metabolites that are mainline defenses against insects, the range of insect monooxygenases that inactivate these compounds and the evolutionary processes occurring as these organisms wage daily battles with one another. Molecular perspectives on these interactions will provide the scientific community with information critical for genetic manipulation of these organisms aimed at enhancing plant resistance to insects and eliminating insect resistance to natural plant toxins and synthetic insecticides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase
  • Insect detoxification system
  • Plant metabolites
  • Plant-insect interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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