Identification of a tachykinin-related neuropeptide from the honeybee brain using direct MALDI-TOF MS and its gene expression in worker, queen and drone heads

Insect Mol Biol. 2003 Jun;12(3):291-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2583.2003.00414.x.


Using a combination of MALDI-TOF and on-line capillary HPLC/Q-Tof mass spectroscopy, we identified and determined the amino acid sequence of a novel neuropeptide in the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera L., termed AmTRP peptide (Apis mellifera tachykinin-related peptide), related to insect tachykinin. A cDNA for a prepro-protein (prepro-AmTRP) of AmTRP was isolated and determined to encode seven AmTRPs 1-7. Northern blot analysis indicated that the prepro-AmTRP gene is expressed differentially in the nurse bee, forager, queen and drone heads. Strong expression was detected in the queen and forager heads, while weak and almost no significant expression was detected in the nurse and drone heads, respectively. These results suggest that AmTRP peptide functions as a neuromodulator and/or hormone, associated with sex-specific or age/division of labour-selective behaviour and/or physiology of the honeybees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bees / genetics
  • Bees / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Library
  • Insect Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuropeptides / biosynthesis
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Tachykinins / chemistry*
  • Tachykinins / isolation & purification


  • Insect Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Tachykinins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB073998