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Transcriptional Regulation of Xenobiotic Detoxification in Drosophila

08/31/2011

Transcriptional Regulation of Xenobiotic Detoxification in Drosophila

Jyoti Misra, Mike Horner, Geanette Lam, and Carl S. Thummel

To combat the build up of foreign compounds (“xenobiotics”), organisms have evolved elaborate detoxification pathways. In this paper, Misra et al. identify Nrf2 as a novel, trans-acting factor that mediates the transcriptional control ofxenobiotic metabolism in Drosophila. The activation of xenobiotic metabolism in insects underlies insecticide detoxification, and, ultimately, acquired pesticide resistance, which has enormous agricultural and public health consequences. Misra et al. show that Nrf2 pathway activation is sufficient to confer resistance to the common and general-use pesticide, malathion. Thus, the discovery that Nrf2 is a key regulator of insect xenobiotic metabolism “provides a new context for defining the molecular mechanisms of xenobiotic detoxification and a focal point for developing strategies to overcome acquired pesticide resistance in insects,” explains Dr. Thummel.

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