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ABSTRACT: To investigate the biological significance of ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) involvement in oocyte maturation, we screened for proteins that bound to UCH-L1 in mouse ovaries, and we found that the prostate tumor overexpressed-1 (PTOV1) protein was able to bind to UCH-L1. PTOV1 is highly expressed in prostate cancers and considered as a potential marker for carcinogenesis and the progress of prostate cancer. It was reported that PTOV1 plays an important role in cell cycle regulation, but its role in mammalian oocyte development and meiosis is still unclear. In this paper, it was found that the expression levels of PTOV1 in mouse ovaries progressively increased from prepubescence to adulthood. And we found by immunohistochemistry that PTOV1 spreaded in both the cytoplasm and nuclei of oocytes during prepuberty, but in normal adult mouse oocytes, it concentrated not only in nuclei but also on the plasma membrane, though in some oocytes with abnormal shapes, PTOV1 did not display the typical distribution patterns. In granulosa cells, however, it was found to locate in the cytoplasm at all the selected ages. In postnatal mouse ovaries (28 days), estradiol treatment induced the adult-specific distribution pattern of PTOV1 in oocytes. In addition, UCH-L1 was shown to be associated with CDK1, which participated in the regulation of cell cycle and oocyte maturation. Therefore, we propose that the distribution changes of PTOV1 are age-dependent, and significant for mouse oocyte development and maturation. Moreover, the discovery that PTOV1 is associated with UCH-L1 in mouse oocytes supports the explanations for that UCH-L1 is involved in oocyte development and maturation, especially under the regulation of estrogen.