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

Progesterone-dependent cathepsin L proteolytic activity in cat uterine flushings.

Sequence analysis of a cDNA clone for the progesterone-dependent protein (PDP) of the cat uterus revealed that PDP may be cathepsin L. This study was undertaken to directly measure the cathepsin L activity in uterine flushings from pregnant and ovariectomized steroid-treated animals in order to confirm that PDP is cathepsin L. Optimum activity toward the substrate Z-Phe-Arg-NMec was observed at a pH of 5-6. Z-Phe-Phe-CHN2, a specific inhibitor of cathepsin L, significantly inhibited the proteolytic activity present in uterine flushings. Immunoabsorption of PDP from uterine flushings obtained from progesterone (P)-treated cats reduced cathepsin L proteolytic activity to levels observed in ovariectomized and estradiol (E2)-treated animals. In E2-primed and E2 + P-treated animals, proteolytic activity in uterine flushings was detectable after 7 days and peaked after 11-13 days of E2 + P treatment. This proteolytic activity was also dramatically increased before implantation (10-12 days after coitus) in pregnant cats. Thus, our data indicate that changes in cathepsin L activity in uterine flushings are correlated with changes in PDP, the uterine protein synthesized and released from the epithelial cells of the deep uterine glands. PDP, via its cathepsin L proteolytic activity, may play a role in the implantation process.[1]


  1. Progesterone-dependent cathepsin L proteolytic activity in cat uterine flushings. Li, W.G., Jaffe, R.C., Fazleabas, A.T., Verhage, H.G. Biol. Reprod. (1991) [Pubmed]
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