Precise ultrastructural localization of Drosophila melanogaster pupal cuticle proteins (PCPs) was achieved by the immunogold labeling of frozen thin sections. PCPs were found in lamellate cuticle and intracellular vesicles but, curiously, were absent from the assembly zone of the cuticle. Antibodies that distinguish between the two classes of PCPs--low molecular weight (L-PCPs) and high molecular weight (H-PCPs)--revealed that the morphologically distinct outer lamellae contained L-PCPs and the inner lamellae contained H-PCPs. The sharp boundary between these two antigenic domains coincides with the transition from the outer to the inner lamellae, which in turn is correlated with the cessation of L-PCP synthesis and the initiation of H-PCP synthesis in response to 20-hydroxyecdysone (Doctor, J., D. Fristrom, and J.W. Fristrom, 1985, J. Cell Biol. 101:189-200). Hence, differences in protein composition are associated with differences in lamellar morphology.

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