Our aim was to investigate and to compare the intracellular distribution of ubiquitin, 20S proteasome, and all six proteasomal regulatory ATPases in non-diseased human and rat brains. Ubiquitin and ATPases S4 and S7 show dominant nuclear immunostaining, whereas subunits S6a, S6b, and S10b show mainly cytoplasmic immunostaining in both species. However, S8 localization is inconsistent, prevailing nuclear in rat and cytoplasmic in human. In rat brain, small clastosome-like nuclear bodies demonstrate strong ubiquitin, 20S, and S6a immunoreactivity both in neurons and glial cells. Prominent nuclear immunolocalization of members of the ubiquitin-proteasome system provides morphological evidence for function of these proteins in transcription regulation and/or DNA repair.
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