Epoxide hydrolase catalyzes a simple hydrolysis of reactive cyclic ethers that may otherwise alkylate and impair critical proteins and nucleic acids required for life. Although much less studied than the cytochrome P-450 monooxygenases that produce epoxides, differences in subcellular, tissue, pH, substrate, and inhibitor specificities argue for at least three forms of insect epoxide hydrolase. Increasing numbers of epoxides are being identified as plant allelochemicals, antifeedants, and essential hormones or precursors for herbivorous arthropods, and in many cases an associated alkene to diol pathway of metabolism is found. A role for epoxide hydrolase in arthropod-plant interactions is strongly supported by species comparisons and by age-activity and induction studies. Two major limitations for study in biochemical ecology of epoxide hydrolase are the lack of an effective in vivo inhibitor and a range of commercially available radiolabeled substrates for the enzymes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics