• neuropeptide;
  • in situ hybridization;
  • myosuppressin;
  • RFamide peptides;
  • developmental regulation;
  • metamorphosis


FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) are a large group of neuropeptides containing a common RFamide C-terminus; they have been identified in vertebrates and invertebrates. We have isolated the cDNA that encodes three FaRPs in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, including the amidated decapeptide F10. The larger FaRPs are the partially processed precursors of F10, a neuropeptide belonging to the myosuppressin family of peptides. The presence of all three FaRPs in different tissues suggests differential utilization of typical dibasic processing sites and atypical processing sites C-terminal to leucine residues. F10 mRNA was detected in the brain, nerve cord, and midgut, and the mRNA levels in the nervous system are dynamically regulated during development. In situ hybridization analysis localized the F10 mRNA to a variety of cell types within the central nervous system (CNS), a peripheral neurosecretory cell (L1), and midgut endocrine cells, which suggests diverse functions. Distribution of the F10-containing neurons within the central nervous system is segment-specific, and the developmental profile suggests that the F10 gene products may have stage-specific functions. Molecular characterization of the F10 gene has provided insights into its regulation and cell-specific distribution that will enhance our understanding of how these FaRPs modulate different physiological systems and ultimately behavior. J. Comp. Neurol. 446:377–396, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.