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Dev Biol. 1985 Feb;107(2):420-31.

Synthesis of the major adult cuticle proteins of Drosophila melanogaster during hypoderm differentiation.


Differentiating imaginal hypodermal cells of Drosophila melanogaster form adult cuticle during the second half of the pupal stage (about 40 to 93 hr postpupariation). A group of proteins with molecular weights of 23,000, 20,000, and 14,000 is identified as putative major wing cuticle proteins with the following biological properties: These proteins are abundant components of cuticle and are major synthetic products of cuticle-secreting hypodermal cells. They are leucine-rich and methionine-free and are the most prominent proteins of this type synthesized by wing hypoderm at 65 hr, during the period of procuticle formation. Electron microscopic autoradiography shows that leucine-rich, methionine-free proteins specifically localize to the apical cell surface and newly secreted cuticle of 65-hr wing cells. This strongly suggests the export of these proteins to the cuticle. Lastly, these proteins undergo a reduction in extractability just after eclosion, during the period of cuticle protein crosslinking (sclerotization). The synthesis of these major hypoderm proteins is temporally regulated in development. In wing cells, the 14-kDa proteins are synthesized first, from 53 to 78 hr, and the 20- and 23-kDa proteins are synthesized from 63 to 93 hr. The pattern of synthesis for these proteins is similar in abdominal cells but delayed by 6 to 10 hr. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis shows that each of the 23-, 20-, and 14-kDa size classes contains at least two component polypeptides. Patterns of protein synthesis in cells of the imaginal hypodermis are regulated in a precise temporal sequence during the production of adult cuticle. Their study yields a useful system for the analysis of molecular events in gene control and cell differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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