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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression patterns of cathepsins B, H, K, L and S in the mouse ovary.

Cathepsins B, H, K, L and S belong to a family of lysosomal cysteine proteinases which participate in a variety of proteolytic processes, including degradation of extracellular matrix. Although the presence of cathepsin mRNAs in the ovary has been reported earlier, very little information is available on their temporospatial expression. In the present study, Northern analysis revealed cyclic changes in the mRNA levels for cathepsins B, H, K, L and S during the 4-day oestrous cycle in the mouse ovary. Immunohistochemical localization revealed distinct expression patterns suggesting different functions for the cathepsins studied. Cathepsin B was predominantly seen in the germinal epithelium throughout the oestrous cycle. Upon follicular maturation, an increasing number of granulosa cells became positive for all cathepsins. Strong cathepsin H staining was sharply defined in theca externa which also stained for cathepsins K and S. Corpus luteum was the predominant location of cathepsin L. The distribution of cathepsin S resembled that of cathepsin L. The developing oocyte stained positive for all cathepsins. In-situ hybridization confirmed the differential production of cathepsin mRNAs by granulosa, thecal and luteal cells. These complex temporal and spatial expression patterns at different stages of the oestrous cycle and follicular development suggest divergent functions for specific cathepsins in follicular development, growth and rupture.[1]


  1. Differential expression patterns of cathepsins B, H, K, L and S in the mouse ovary. Oksjoki, S., Söderström, M., Vuorio, E., Anttila, L. Mol. Hum. Reprod. (2001) [Pubmed]
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