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Biol Reprod. 1999 Apr;60(4):920-8.

Localization of ubiquitin and ubiquitin cross-reactive protein in human and baboon endometrium and decidua during the menstrual cycle and early pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Human Development, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom.


We have examined the distribution of ubiquitin and the related ubiquitin cross-reactive protein (UCRP) in paraffin-embedded sections of human and baboon endometrium and decidua by immunoperoxidase or immunofluorescence cytochemistry with antibodies raised against ubiquitin, UCRP, CD45, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1. Anti-ubiquitin immunoreactivity was present in the nonpregnant endometrium, particularly in the glandular epithelial cells, and up-regulated in endometrial stromal cells as they decidualized at the beginning of pregnancy. Anti-UCRP immunoreactivity was absent from nonpregnant tissue but accumulated to high levels in decidual cells during pregnancy. Western blotting indicated that immunoreactivity was primarily due to the presence of ubiquitin and UCRP conjugated to other proteins, and that although levels of ubiquitin-protein conjugates do not change substantially during pregnancy, decidualization is accompanied by the appearance of conjugates of UCRP. Baboon uterine tissues demonstrated a similar distribution of the two proteins, which indicates that the baboon may be a useful model for study of the role of the ubiquitin system and UCRP in the establishment of pregnancy in humans.

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