2014 年 63 巻 2 号 p. 247-256
The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) plays a fundamental role in regulating various biological activities. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) is a deubiquitinating enzyme, belonging to the UPS. To date, it has been reported that UCH-L1 is highly and restrictedly expressed in neural and reproductive tissues and plays significant roles in these organs. Although the expression of UCH-L1 in the anterior pituitary gland has been reported, the detailed localization and the role of UCH-L1 remain obscure. In the present study, we detected UCH-L1 protein exclusively in hormone-producing cells, but not non-hormone producing folliculostellate cells in the anterior pituitary lobe. In addition, the cytoplasmic expression of UCH-L1 varied and was limited to gonadotropes and mammotropes. To investigate the role of UCH-L1 in anterior pituitary cells, we performed a comparative analysis using genetically UCH-L1-deficient gad mice. Significant decreases in the numbers of gonadotropes and mammotropes were observed in gad mice, suggesting a close involvement of UCH-L1 in these cells. Moreover, we also determined the expression of UCH-L1 in cultured gonadotropes. Taken together, this is the first report to definitely demonstrate the presence of UCH-L1 in mouse anterior pituitary gland, and our results might provide a novel insight for better understanding the role of UCH-L1 in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and in the reproduction.