UCHL1 is a deubiquitinating enzyme found in neurons and neuroendocrine cells. UCHL1 functions to promote neuronal differentiation and regulates autophagy. UCHL1 is also considered an oncogene; mice engineered to overexpress UCHL1 demonstrate a propensity for lymphogenesis and malignancy, and abnormal expression of UCHL1 is seen in some lung and endometrial cancers. It has also been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In immunohistochemistry of normal tissue, UCHL1 is positive in neurons in the central nervous system. It is also present in a number of other tissues and cell types including distal renal tubules, islets of Langerhans, spermatogonia in testis, Leydig cells, oocytes and melanocytes.
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