A field strain of Aedes aegypti (L.) was collected from Puerto Rico in October 2008. Based on LD50 values by topical application, the Puerto Rico strain was 73-fold resistant to permethrin compared with a susceptible Orlando strain. In the presence of piperonyl butoxide, the resistance of Puerto Rico strain of Ae. aegypti was reduced to 15-fold, suggesting that cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification is involved in the resistance of the Puerto Rico strain to permethrin. To determine the cytochrome P450s that might play a role in the resistance to permethrin, the transcriptional levels of 164 cytochrome P450 genes in the Puerto Rico strain were compared with that in the Orlando strain. Of the 164 cytochrome P450s, 33 were significantly (P < 0.05) up-regulated, including cytochrome P450s in families four, six, and nine. Multiple studies have investigated the functionality of family six and nine cytochrome P450s, therefore, we focused on the up-regulated family 4 cytochrome P450s. To determine whether up-regulation of the four cytochrome P450s had any functional role in permethrin resistance, transgenic Drosophila melanogaster Meigen lines overexpressing the four family 4 P450 genes were generated, and their ability to survive exposure to permethrin was evaluated. When exposed to 5 μg per vial permethrin, transgenic D. melanogaster expressing CYP4D24, CYP4H29, CYP4J15v1, and CYP4H33 had a survival rate of 60.0 ± 6.7, 29.0 ± 4.4, 64.4 ± 9.7, and 11.0 ± 4.4%, respectively. However, none of the control flies survived the permethrin exposure at the same concentration. Similarly, none of the transgenic D. melanogaster expressing CYP4J15v1 or CYP4H33 ?5 survived when they were exposed to permethrin at 10 μg per vial. However, transgenic D. melanogaster expressing CYP4D24 and CYP4H29 had a survival rate of 37.8 ± 4.4 and 2.2 ± 2.2%, respectively. Taken together, our results suggest that CYP4D24 might play an important role in cytochrome P450-mediated resistance to permethrin.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3