Stability, Toxicity, and Reaction Mechanism with Esterases of Certain Carbamate Insecticides1

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The stability, activity as inhibitors of acetyl- and butyrylcho-linesterase, and toxicity to house flies, Musca domestica L., and mice were compared for 30 N-alkyl and N,N-dialkylcarbamates. For each type of biological activity a distinctive structural specificity unrelated to stability was observed. The carbamates varied greatly ill their inhibitory specificity for the acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase and in the rate of attaining an equilibrium of cholinesterase, carb:1mate and acetyl choline during assay. Plasma albumin was found to hydrolyze p-Nitrophenyl N-alkylca5rbamates rather than plasma cholinesterase or arylesterase. Chymotrypsin and human plasma butyrylcholincstcrase did not react with the carbamates in a similar manner to their reaction with the acetates, ethyl carbonates and dialkyl phosphates derived from the same enols. These results indicate that competition rather than carbamoylation is the primary mechanism of cholinesterase inhibition and presumably toxicity for the N- alkyl and N,N-dialkylcarbamates studied.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1960

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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