Lobster claw muscle undergoes atrophy in correlation with increasing ecdysteroid (steroid molting hormone) titers during premolt. In vivo molecular chaperone (constitutive heat shock protein 70 [Hsc70], heat shock protein 70 [Hsp70], and Hsp90) and polyubiquitin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels were examined in claw and abdominal muscles from individual premolt or intermolt lobsters. Polyubiquitin gene expression was assayed as a marker for muscle atrophy. Both Hsc70 and Hsp90 mRNA levels were significantly induced in premolt relative to intermolt lobster claw muscle, whereas Hsp70 mRNA levels were not. Hsp90 gene expression was significantly higher in premolt claw muscle when compared with abdominal muscle. Polyubiquitin mRNA levels were elevated in premolt when compared with intermolt claw muscle and significantly elevated relative to premolt abdominal muscle.