Protein synthesis was studied in the visual cells of an insect (honeybee drone, Apis mellifera) by electron microscope radioautography. After a single injection of tritiated leucine, the radioactivity first appears in the cytoplasm of the visual cell which contains ribosomes. Later, part of this radioactivity migrates to the rhabdome, the visual cell region which is specialized in light absorption. A maximal concentration of radioactivity is reached there 48 hr after the injection of leucine. This pattern of protein synthesis and transport resembles that described in vertebrate visual cells (rods and cones), where newly synthesized proteins have been shown to contribute to the renewal of the photoreceptor membrane.

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