Molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH) negatively regulates the synthesis of ecdysteroid molting hormones by crustacean Y-organs. We report here the expression of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) MIH in insect cells using recombinant baculovirus. Insect Sf9 cells were transfected with recombinant baculovirus containing a DNA insert encoding the C. sapidus MIH prohormone (signal sequence plus mature hormone). The construct was designed to yield a mature, fully processed recombinant MIH (recMIH). Several baculovirus recombinants showing no contamination with wild-type viral DNA were subsequently analyzed for their ability to direct expression of recMIH. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of proteins from infected cells revealed time-dependent expression of two proteins of approximately the predicted size for the C. sapidus MIH prohormone and mature hormone. Western blot results (using antiserum against MIH of Carcinus maenas) indicated that the proteins were MIH-immunoreactive. N-Terminal amino acid sequence data and mass spectral analysis indicated the expressed proteins were of the correct sequence and molecular mass. Cell lysates containing the recombinant protein dose-dependently suppressed the synthesis of ecdysteroids by Y-organs in vitro. We anticipate the recombinant peptide will prove useful for studies of the structure and function of MIH. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.