Time-dependent and cell-specific changes in concentrations of total RNA, of poly A+ RNA, and of specific mRNAs have been measured throughout silkmoth choriogenesis. Levels of total RNA and of poly A+ RNA are maintained throughout much of choriogenesis, but decrease at least fourfold during the very late period, in parallel with a decrease in overall protein synthesis. Very late period changes in total RNA and in poly A+ RNA are less pronounced in the aeropyle crown region, where a subset of chorion proteins is preferentially synthesized, than in the flat region. Maximal accumulation of the E1 and E2 chorion mRNAs occurs preferentially in the aeropyle crown region during the very late period. Uridine pulse-labeling studies suggest that E1 and E2 transcription is similarly aeropyle crown region-specific and immediately precedes the time of maximal E1 and E2 RNA accumulation and protein synthesis. Sequences from the 5' flanking regions of E1 and E2 genes have been compared. Several oligonucleotide sequences are present in both genes, and some are duplicated. These are potential cis-acting, regulatory elements.