The trypsin modulating oostatic factor from the gray fleshfly Neobellieria bullata (Neb-TMOF) is released from the ovary at the end of vitellogenesis and inhibits trypsin biosynthesis in the midgut. This inhibition indirectly results in an arrest of oocyte growth. Additional experiments with N. bullata were performed to characterize its trypsin modulating and oostatic properties in more detail. After suspending the peptide in wheat germ oil, the threshold dose for oostatic activity was lowered one thousand times (2.10(-5) in oil versus 2.10(-2) pmoles per fly in Ringer). By use of the Neobellieria trypsin biosynthesis assay, 17 analogs of the hexapeptide were tested for inhibitory activity. The following structural elements were demonstrated to be critical for biological activity: the alcohol function at position 3 (Thr residue); a positively charged basic group at the C terminus (His residue); and the Asn side chain at positions 1 and 4. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.