Tag Content
UniProt Accession
Theoretical PI
Molecular Weight
26152 Da  
Genbank Nucleotide ID
Genbank Protein ID
Gene Name
Gene Synonyms/Alias
Protein Name
Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase isozyme L3 
Protein Synonyms/Alias
UCH-L3EC= Ubiquitin thioesterase L3; 
Mus musculus (Mouse) 
NCBI Taxonomy ID
Chromosome Location
View in Ensembl genome browser  
Function in Stage
Function in Cell Type
Probability (GAS) of Function in Spermatogenesis
The probability was calculated by GAS algorithm, ranging from 0 to 1. The closer it is to 1, the more possibly it functions in spermatogenesis.
Temporarily unavailable 
Abstract of related literatures
1. Mice homozygous for the s(1Acrg) deletion at the Ednrb locus arrest at embryonic day 8.5. To determine the molecular basis of this defect, we initiated positional cloning of the s(1Acrg) minimal region. The mouse Uch-L3 (ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L3) gene was mapped within the s(1Acrg) minimal region. Because Uch-L3 transcripts were present in embryonic structures relevant to the s(1Acrg) phenotype, we created a targeted mutation in Uch-L3 to address its role during development and its possible contribution to the s(1Acrg) phenotype. Mice homozygous for the mutation Uch-L3(Delta3-7) were viable, with no obvious developmental or histological abnormalities. Although high levels of Uch-L3 RNA were detected in testes and thymus, Uch-L3(Delta3-7) homozygotes were fertile, and no defect in intrathymic T-cell differentiation was detected. We conclude that the s(1Acrg) phenotype is either complex and multigenic or due to the loss of another gene within the region. We propose that Uch-L3 may be functionally redundant with its homologue Uch-L1. PMID: [10713173] 

2. Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolases (UCHs) are implicated in the proteolytic processing of polymeric ubiquitin. We have isolated a novel mouse gene for ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase isozyme L4. The gene named Uchl4 encodes a novel member of the family of ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolases (UCHs) whose predicted amino acid sequence shows 95% identity to mouse UCH-L3 and 94% identity to human UCH-L3. Genomic structure, chromosome localization, and expression pattern of Uchl3 and Uchl4 were characterized in the mouse. Both Uchl3 and Uchl4 were expressed in various tissues examined; however, expression level was quite lower in Uchl4. While Uchl3 consists of at least 9 exons spanning about 12 kb, Uchl4 was an intronless gene with a size of about 2 kb. By PCR-based analysis with T31 radiation hybrid mapping panel, Uchl3 and Uchl4 were mapped on mouse chromosome 9 and 14, respectively. PMID: [11341770] 

3. The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline. PMID: [15489334] 

4. NEDD8 is a novel ubiquitin-like protein that has been shown to conjugate to nuclear proteins in a manner analogous to ubiquitination and sentrinization. To identify proteins that are involved in the NEDD8-conjugation and de-conjugation pathway, the yeast two-hybrid system was used to screen a human heart cDNA library using NEDD8 as a bait. Seven strongly positive clones were found to contain a cDNA insert encoding the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase, UCH-L3. In vitro GST pull-down assay demonstrated that UCH-L3 bound to both NEDD8 and ubiquitin. In contrast, UCH-L3 did not bind to sentrin-1, sentrin-2, or sentrin-3. Recombinant UCH-L3, but not UCH-L1, was able to cleave the C-terminus of NEDD8. Thus, UCH-L3 can function as a C-terminal hydrolase for both NEDD8 and ubiquitin. UCH-L3 may play a physiologically significant role in the cleavage of the C-terminus of NEDD8, which is required for NEDD8 to conjugate to target proteins. PMID: [9790970] 

5. Regulated proteolysis by the ubiquitin pathway has been implicated in control of the cell cycle, transcriptional activation, cell fate and growth, and synaptogenesis. The ubiquitin-proteasome system is involved in synaptic plasticity and is proposed to be part of a molecular switch that converts short-term synaptic potentiation to long-term changes in synaptic strength. In Aplysia, a component of the ubiquitin system termed ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (Ap-Uch) has been shown to be essential for long-term facilitation. To examine whether Uch plays a role in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity in mammals, we have analyzed mice homozygous for a targeted mutation in ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L3 (Uchl3), an orthologue of Ap-Uch. Mice homozygous for the mutation in Uchl3 are viable, with no obvious developmental, histological, or fertility abnormalities. We demonstrate that Uchl3-/- mice have a significant learning deficit relative to wild type littermates in the spatial version of the Morris water maze and the 8-arm radial maze. Further, the impaired performance in the 8-arm radial maze of Uchl3-/- mice is due to significantly increased working memory errors. Examination of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory storage, revealed no significant differences in LTP in hippocampal slices from Uchl3-/- mice. Our results suggest a novel role for ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase enzymes in mammals in spatial learning and working memory. PMID: [15884048] 

6. UCH-L3 belongs to the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase family that deubiquitinates ubiquitin-protein conjugates in the ubiquitin-proteasome system. A murine Uchl3 deletion mutant displays retinal degeneration, muscular degeneration, and mild growth retardation. To elucidate the function of UCH-L3, we investigated histopathological changes and expression of apoptosis- and oxidative stress-related proteins during retinal degeneration. In the normal retina, UCH-L3 was enriched in the photoreceptor inner segment that contains abundant mitochondria. Although the retina of Uchl3-deficient mice showed no significant morphological abnormalities during retinal development, prominent retinal degeneration became manifested after 3 weeks of age associated with photoreceptor cell apoptosis. Ultrastructurally, a decreased area of mitochondrial cristae and vacuolar changes were observed in the degenerated inner segment. Increased immunoreactivities for manganese superoxide dismutase, cytochrome c oxidase I, and apoptosis-inducing factor in the inner segment indicated mitochondrial oxidative stress. Expression of cytochrome c, caspase-1, and cleaved caspase-3 did not differ between wild-type and mutant mice; however, immunoreactivity for endonuclease G was found in the photoreceptor nuclei in the mutant retina. Hence, loss of UCH-L3 leads to mitochondrial oxidative stress-related photoreceptor cell apoptosis in a caspase-independent manner. Thus, Uchl3-deficient mice represent a model for adult-onset retinal degeneration associated with mitochondrial impairment. PMID: [16816367] 

7. Ubiquitination is required throughout all developmental stages of mammalian spermatogenesis. The two ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH) enzymes, UCH-L1 and UCH-L3, deubiquitinate ubiquitin-protein conjugates and control the cellular balance of ubiquitin. These two UCH isozymes have 52% amino acid identity and share significant structural similarity. A new function of these two closely related UCH enzymes during spermatogenesis which is associated with germ cell apoptosis has been analyzed. Apoptosis, in general, is thought to be partly regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. During spermatogenesis, apoptosis controls germ cell numbers and eliminates defective germ cells to facilitate testicular homeostasis. In this paper, I review the distinct function of the two UCH isozymes in the testis of gad and Uchl3 knockout mice, which are strongly but reciprocally expressed during spermatogenesis. In addition, the importance of UCHL1-dependent apoptosis for normal spermatogenesis and sperm quality control is discussed. PMID: [17460351] 

8. The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is ubiquitinated by the E3 ligase Nedd4-2 at the apical membranes of polarized cortical collecting duct (CCD) epithelial cells. This leads to ENaC endocytosis and possible degradation. Because ENaC is known to recycle at the apical membranes of CCD cells, deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are likely involved in regulating ENaC surface density by facilitating ENaC recycling as opposed to degradation. Using a chemical probe approach to tag active DUBs, we identified ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH) isoform L3 as the predominant DUB in endosomal compartments of CCD cells. Blocking UCH-L3 activity or reducing its expression by selective knockdown increased ENaC ubiquitination and resulted in its removal from the apical membranes of CCD cells. Functionally this caused a rapid reduction in transepithelial Na(+) currents across the CCD epithelia. Surface biotinylation demonstrated the loss of ENaC from the apical surface when UCH-L3 was inhibited. Whole cell or apical surface immunoprecipitation demonstrated increased ENaC ubiquitination with UCH-L3 inhibition. This constitutes a novel function for UCH in epithelia and in the regulation of ion channels and demonstrates the dynamic regulation of apically located ENaC by recycling, which is facilitated by this DUB. PMID: [17967898] 

9. A system which consisted of multidimensional liquid chromatography (Yin-yang MDLC) coupled with mass spectrometry was used for the identification of peptides and phosphopeptides. The multidimensional liquid chromatography combines the strong-cation exchange (SCX), strong-anion exchange (SAX), and reverse-phase methods for the separation. Protein digests were first loaded on an SCX column. The flow-through peptides from SCX were collected and further loaded on an SAX column. Both columns were eluted by offline pH steps, and the collected fractions were identified by reverse-phase liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Comprehensive peptide identification was achieved by the Yin-yang MDLC-MS/MS for a 1 mg mouse liver. In total, 14 105 unique peptides were identified with high confidence, including 13 256 unmodified peptides and 849 phosphopeptides with 809 phosphorylated sites. The SCX and SAX in the Yin-Yang system displayed complementary features of binding and separation for peptides. When coupled with reverse-phase liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, the SAX-based method can detect more extremely acidic (pI < 4.0) and phosphorylated peptides, while the SCX-based method detects more relatively basic peptides (pI > 4.0). In total, 134 groups of phosphorylated peptide isoforms were obtained, with common peptide sequences but different phosphorylated states. This unbiased profiling of protein expression and phosphorylation provides a powerful approach to probe protein dynamics, without using any prefractionation and chemical derivation. PMID: [17203969] 

10. Insulin is a potent adipogenic hormone that triggers the induction of a series of transcription factors and specific proteins governing the differentiation of preadipocytes into mature adipocytes. Here we report that ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase (UCH)-L3, a deubiquitinating enzyme, promotes insulin signaling and adipogenesis. Uchl3(-/-) mice had less visceral white adipose tissue compared with wild-type mice. In vitro adipogenesis experiments revealed that mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and preadipocytes from Uchl3(-/-) mice had impaired ability to differentiate into mature adipocytes than those from wild-type mice. This difference was diminished by removing insulin from the medium. RT-PCR analysis showed that insulin-regulated expression of srebp1c, fas, glut4, and adiponectin is impaired in Uchl3(-/-) cells. The phosphorylation of insulin/IGF-I receptor, Akt, glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, and FoxO1 was decreased in Uchl3(-/-) MEFs treated with insulin. Moreover, ectopic expression of wild-type UCH-L3 restored the phosphorylation of insulin/IGF-I receptor and adipocyte differentiation in Uchl3(-/-) MEFs. In contrast, hydrolase activity-deficient UCH-L3 did not enhance insulin signaling and the expression of glut4, fabp4, and adiponectin, resulting in impaired formation of large lipid droplets. These results suggest that UCH-L3 promotes adipogenesis by enhancing insulin signaling in a hydrolase activity-dependent manner. PMID: [19837878] 

11. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH)-L3 is an enzyme with a strongly suggested de-ubiquitinating function by in vitro studies, but has poorly been investigated in vivo. In this study, we show that skeletal muscles of Uchl3(-/-) mice exhibit the up-regulation of cleaved ATF6, Grp78, and PDI as well as HSP27, HSP70, HSP90 and HSP110, which indicate the induction of stress responses. The prominent accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins, one of the factors reported to induce stress responses, was observed in the skeletal muscle of Uchl3(-/-) mice. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from Uchl3(-/-) mice also showed an accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins. Moreover, the polyubiquitinated protein accumulation in Uchl3(-/-) MEFs was attenuated by the exogenous expression of wild-type, but not hydrolase activity deficient, UCH-L3. In addition, wild-type, but not its hydrolase activity or ubiquitin binding activity deficient UCH-L3 showed the ability to cleave ubiquitin from polyubiquitinated lysozyme in vitro. These results suggest that UCH-L3 functions as a de-ubiquitinating enzyme in vivo where lack of its hydrolase activity may result in the prominent accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and subsequent induction of stress responses in skeletal muscle. PMID: [20380862] 

12. Mutant ubiquitin (UBB(+1)) accumulates in the hallmarks of tauopathies and polyglutamine diseases. We show that the deubiquitinating enzyme YUH1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its mouse and human ortholog UCH-L3 are able to hydrolyze the C-terminal extension of UBB(+1). This yields another dysfunctional ubiquitin molecule (UB(G76Y)) with biochemical properties similar to full length UBB(+1). UBB(+1) may be detected in post-mortem tissue due to impaired C-terminal truncation of UBB(+1). Although the level of UCH-L3 protein in several neurodegenerative diseases is unchanged, we show that in vitro oxidation of recombinant UCH-L3 impairs its deubiquitinating activity. We postulate that impaired UCH-L3 function may contribute to the accumulation of full length UBB(+1) in various pathologies. PMID: [21762696] 

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Deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) that controls levels ofcellular ubiquitin through processing of ubiquitin precursors andubiquitinated proteins. Thiol protease that recognizes andhydrolyzes a peptide bond at the C-terminal glycine of eitherubiquitin or NEDD8. Has a 10-fold preference for Arg and Lys atposition P3", and exhibits a preference towards 'Lys-48'-linkedUbiquitin chains. Deubiquitinates ENAC in apical compartments,thereby regulating apical membrane recycling. Indirectly increasesthe phosphorylation of IGFIR, AKT and FOXO1 and promotes insulin-signaling and insulin-induced adipogenesis. Required for stress-response retinal, skeletal muscle and germ cell maintenance. Maybe involved in working memory. Can hydrolyze UBB(+1), a mutatedform of ubiquitin which is not effectively degraded by theproteasome. 
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Subcellular Location
Tissue Specificity
Ubiquitously expressed, with highest levels inbrain, liver, heart, thymus, kidney and testis. Highly expressedin the cauda epididymidis, in meiotic pachytene spermatocytes andpost-meiotic spematids. In the retina, enriched in thephotoreceptor inner segment. 
Gene Ontology
GO IDGO termEvidence
GO:0005737 C:cytoplasm IEA:UniProtKB-SubCell.
GO:0008234 F:cysteine-type peptidase activity IEA:UniProtKB-KW.
GO:0008233 F:peptidase activity IDA:UniProtKB.
GO:0004221 F:ubiquitin thiolesterase activity IEA:InterPro.
GO:0007628 P:adult walking behavior IGI:MGI.
GO:0032869 P:cellular response to insulin stimulus IDA:UniProtKB.
GO:0042755 P:eating behavior IGI:MGI.
GO:0045600 P:positive regulation of fat cell differentiation IDA:UniProtKB.
GO:0030163 P:protein catabolic process IDA:UniProtKB.
GO:0016579 P:protein deubiquitination ISA:MGI.
GO:0060041 P:retina development in camera-type eye IMP:MGI.
GO:0006511 P:ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolic process IEA:InterPro.
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IPR001578;    Peptidase_C12.
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PF01088;    Peptidase_C12;    1.
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PS00140;    UCH_1;    1.
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PR00707;    UBCTHYDRLASE.;   
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Created Date
Record Type
GAS predicted 
Sequence Annotation
CHAIN         1    230       Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase
                             isozyme L3.
REGION        8     13       Interaction with ubiquitin (By
REGION      152    159       Interaction with ubiquitin (By
REGION      219    224       Interaction with ubiquitin (By
ACT_SITE     95     95       Nucleophile (By similarity).
ACT_SITE    169    169       Proton donor (By similarity).
SITE        184    184       Important for enzyme activity (By
MOD_RES      75     75       Phosphoserine (By similarity).
MOD_RES     130    130       Phosphoserine.
MUTAGEN      95     95       C->S: No increase in phosphorylation of
                             AKT1, FOXO1 and INSR. No increased
                             expression of SLC2A1, FABP4 nor ADIPOQ.
                             Impaired formation of large lipid
CONFLICT    205    207       AIE -> VIK (in Ref. 1; AAF64193).
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Nucleotide Sequence
Length: 899 bp   Go to nucleotide: FASTA
Protein Sequence
Length: 230 bp   Go to amino acid: FASTA
The verified Protein-Protein interaction information
Gene Symbol Ref Databases
Other Protein-Protein interaction resources
String database  
View Microarray data