During the final two larval instars, a changing pattern of three Ultraspiracle (Usp) proteins (50.5, 52.5, and 57 kDa) was detected in immunoblots of the dorsal abdominal epidermis of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, by a monoclonal antibody against Drosophila Usp that was shown to detect MsUsp. The 57- and 52.5-kDa bands were present during the intermolt periods and the 50.5- and 52.5-kDa bands during the molting phases. The antibody detected a nuclear antigen present in epidermis, muscle, fat body, and the central nervous system from the time of hatching. In the epidermis Usp was present in all cell nuclei but was especially prominent in the tormogen and trichogen cells immediately after ecdysis in both the penultimate and final instars. This latter immunoreactivity disappeared within 12 h whereas the remainder of the epidermis retained high levels throughout the feeding period. During the molt immunostaining reappeared in the hair cell nuclei. During the wandering stage at the onset of metamorphosis and just before pupal ecdysis, immunoblots showed high levels of Usp, but nuclei showed little or no staining. This discrepancy is likely due to the loss of one Usp isoform from the nucleus and its dispersal in the cytoplasm in preparation for the appearance of the second isoform.
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Received: 10 June 1997 / Accepted: 22 August 1997
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Asahina, M., Jindra, M. & Riddiford, L. Developmental expression of Ultraspiracle proteins in the epidermis of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, during larval life and the onset of metamorphosis. Dev Gene Evol 207, 381–388 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004270050127
- Key words Ultraspiracle
- Metamorphosis Molting