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Insect Sci. 2013 Apr;20(2):121-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7917.2012.01535.x. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Chitin synthesis inhibitors: old molecules and new developments.

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Department of Biology/Chemistry, University of Osnabrück, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany.


Abstract  Chitin is the most abundant natural aminopolysaccharide and serves as a structural component of extracellular matrices. It is found in fungal septa, spores, and cell walls, and in arthropod cuticles and peritrophic matrices, squid pens, mollusk shells, nematode egg shells, and some protozoan cyst walls. As prokaryotes, plants and vertebrates including humans do not produce chitin, its synthesis is considered as an attractive target site for fungicides, insecticides, and acaricides. Although no chitin synthesis inhibitor has been developed into a therapeutic drug to treat fungal infections in humans, a larger number of compounds have been successfully launched worldwide to combat arthropod pests in agriculture and forestry. This review summarizes the latest advances on the mode of action of chitin synthesis inhibitors with a special focus on those molecules that act on a postcatalytic step of chitin synthesis.


acaricide; benzoylurea; chitin synthesis inhibitor; cuticle; etoxazole; insecticide

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