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Proteomics. 2016 May;16(9):1421-31. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201500427. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Comparative proteomics analysis of silkworm hemolymph during the stages of metamorphosis via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

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State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, College of Biotechnology, Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing, P. R. China.


The silkworm is a lepidopteran insect that has an open circulatory system with hemolymph consisting of blood and lymph fluid. Hemolymph is not only considered as a depository of nutrients and energy, but it also plays a key role in substance transportation, immunity response, and proteolysis. In this study, we used LC-MS/MS to analyze the hemolymph proteins of four developmental stages during metamorphosis. A total of 728 proteins were identified from the hemolymph of the second day of wandering stage, first day of pupation, ninth day of pupation, and first day as an adult moth. GO annotations and categories showed that silkworm hemolymph proteins were enriched in carbohydrate metabolism, proteolysis, protein binding, and antibacterial humoral response. The levels of nutrient, immunity-related, and structural proteins changed significantly during development and metamorphosis. Some, such as cuticle, odorant-binding, and chemosensory proteins, showed stage-specific expression in the hemolymph. In addition, the expression of several antimicrobial peptides exhibited their highest level of abundance in the hemolymph of the early pupal stage. These findings provide a comprehensive proteomic insight of the silkworm hemolymph and suggest additional molecular targets for studying insect metamorphosis.


Animal proteomics; Hemolymph; Metabolism; Metamorphosis; Proteolysis; Silkworm

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