Test Catalog

Test ID: UBIQ    
Ubiquitin (UBIQ) Immunostain, Technical Component Only

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Classification of neurodegenerative diseases

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Ubiquitin is a polypeptide of approximately 8.5 kD found in filamentous inclusions and cytosome-related organelles in human idiopathic neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Pick disease, Lewy body dementia, and Parkinson disease. Ubiquitin is also expressed in Rosenthal fibers in astrocytomas. Ubiquitin protein complexes have also been found in primary lysosome-related granules in mature neutrophils. Ubiquitin labels the periphery of senile plaques and of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease, Lewy bodies in Parkinson disease, and Mallory bodies in alcoholic liver disease.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This test includes only technical performance of the stain (no pathologist interpretation is performed). Mayo Clinic cannot provide an interpretation of tech only stains outside the context of a pathology consultation. If an interpretation is needed, refer to PATHC / Pathology Consultation for a full diagnostic evaluation or second opinion of the case. All material associated with the case is required. Additional specific stains may be requested as part of the pathology consultation, and will be performed as necessary at the discretion of the Mayo pathologist.


The positive and negative controls are verified as showing appropriate immunoreactivity and documentation is retained at Mayo Clinic Rochester. If a control tissue is not included on the slide, a scanned image of the relevant quality control tissue is available upon request. Contact 855-516-8404.


Interpretation of this test should be performed in the context of the patient's clinical history and other diagnostic tests by a qualified pathologist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Age of a cut paraffin section can affect immunoreactivity. Stability thresholds vary widely among published literature and are antigen-dependent. Best practice is for paraffin sections to be cut fresh.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Chu CT, Caruso JL, Cummings TJ, et al: Ubiquitin immunochemistry as a diagnostic aid for community pathologists evaluating patients who have dementia. Mod Pathol 2000;13(4):420-426

2. Josephs KA, Holton JL, Rossor MN, et al: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration and ubiquitin immunohistochemistry. Neuropathol Applied Neurobiol 2004;30:369-373

3. Katsuse O, Dickson DW: Ubiquitin immunohistochemistry of frontotemporal lobar degeneration differentiates cases with and without motor neuron disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2005;19:S37-S43

4. Lennox G, Lowe J, Landon M, et al: Diffuse Lewy body disease: correlative neuropathology using anti-ubiquitin immunocytochemistry. J Neurol, Neurosurg Psychiatry 1989;52:1236-1247

5. Mackenzie IRA, Feldman HH: Ubiquitin immunohistochemistry suggests classic motor neuron disease, motor neuron disease with dementia, and frontotemporal dementia of the motor neuron disease type represent a clincopathologic spectrum. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2005;64(8):730-739