Over the past two decades, my lab made foundational contributions to the understanding of the molecular action of pyrethroid insecticides on sodium channels as well as the molecular mechanism of knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids. In addition, we made significant progress on elucidating the role of a novel insect cation channel, DSC1 in Drosophila melanogastrer, in neurophysiology and neurotoxicology. The DSC1 channel is present in all insect species, but is absent in vertebrates and therefore a potential target for the development of new selective insecticides. In 2015, my group initiated a new research project to elucidate the molecular basis of the poorly understood pyrethroid repellency in Drosophila and mosquitoes.
Current assignment: Teaching 25% | Research 75%
I teach ENT. 850 (Molecular Entomology); ENT 812 Insect Toxicology seminar with Bob Hollingworth, John Wise and David Mota-Sanchez; and contribute lectures on sodium channels for PHM 827 (Physiology and Pharmacology of Excitable Cells).
The major objectives of my research program are 1) to elucidate the modes of action of insecticides and the molecular mechanisms of insecticide resistance; 2) to identify new insecticide targets for the development of safer insecticides; and 3) to understand the molecular basis of pyrethroid repellency. My group (one research specialist, one Ph.D. student, three postdoctoral associates, three visiting scholars and one undergraduate lab assistant) is taking a combination of molecular, electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches to accomplish these goals.
Mode of Action of Insecticides
Insect Ion Channels
2007-Present - Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
2002-2007 - Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
1996-2002 - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
1995-1996 - Research Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
1994-1995 - Research Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
Du, Y., Nomura, Zhorov BS, and Dong. K. (2016) Evidence for dual receptor sites of DDT in the sodium channel. Biol. Chem. 291:4638-48.
Wang, L, Nomura Y., Du, Y., Liu N. Zhorov BS. and Dong K. (2015) A mutation in the intracellular loop III/IV of mosquito sodium channel synergizes the effect of mutations in helix IIS6 on pyrethroid resistance. Mol. Pharmacol. 106:93–100.
Du, Y., Nomura, Y., Zhorov, BS., Dong, K. (2015) Rotational Symmetry of two pyrethroid receptor sites in the mosquito sodium channel. Mol. Pharmacol. 88:273-80.
Du Y., Nomura Y., Satar G., Hu, Z., Nauen, R., He, S., Zhorov, B.S. and Dong K. (2013) Molecular evidence for dual pyrethroid-receptor sites on a mosquito sodium channel. Proc. 4 Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 110:11785-90.
Zhang T, Wang Z, Wang L, Luo N, Jiang L, Liu Z, Wu C-F, Dong K (2013) Role of the DSC1 channel in regulating neuronal excitability in Drosophila melanogaster: extending nervous system stability under stress. PLoS Genetics 9(3):e1003327.