The localization of surface integument peptides in tracheae and tracheoles

Mikos Sass, Agnes Kiss, Michael Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


The surface epidermis of the caterpillar of Calpodes ethlius is involved with four routing classes of peptide. It secretes peptides apically into the cuticle (C), basally into the hemolymph (H), some in both directions (BD) and a fourth class (T), presumed to be transported to the cuticle across the epidermis from the hemolymph. These peptides were isolated from lamellate endocuticle or hemolymph. We have now located them in tracheae and tracheoles by immunoblotting and immunogold labeling, where they are associated with other kinds of cuticle. Tracheae contain peptides from all four classes. Tracheal cuticle contains the surface cuticle peptides C180, 55, 43, 36, 30, 17 and 11 kDa peptides, which they presumably make, since these peptides are not present in the hemolymph. They also contain H235 and H45, BD89, 82, and 53, and T66, which could have been synthesized or transported across the tracheal epithelium from the hemolymph. The finding that a particular peptide can be basally directed by the surface epidermis but apical in tracheae shows that routing direction varies with the tissue. The peptides localized in tracheal cuticle fall into one of three main categories in relation to chitin. Chitin occurs in the taenidia and the rest of the cuticle but not in the taenidial cushion. Some C peptides only occur associated with chitin in taenidia (C17 and 30). Other C peptides (C180, 55, 43, 36 and 11) and T66 are in the general matrix with and without chitin. H and BD peptides are restricted to non-chitinous cuticle of the taenidial cushion. Tracheoles also contain surface cuticle peptides together with chitin in taenidia. C30 and C17 are associated with taenidial chitin as they are in tracheae. C180, 55 and 11 and H235, occur where chitin is absent below and between taenidia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-575
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994


  • Chitin-protein association
  • Cuticle
  • Epidermis
  • Hemolymph
  • Insect tracheae
  • Peptide routing
  • Tracheoles
  • Transepithelial transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science

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