Transcriptional regulation mediated through the conjugation and deconjugation of the small ubiquitin-like modifiers SUMO-1, SUMO-2, and SUMO-3
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SUMO-1/2/3 are members of the ubiquitin-like family of protein modifiers. These proteins are covalently attached to numerous proteins in a directed and controlled manner. SUMO conjugation primarily occurs to proteins containing an exposed SUMO conjugation motif, (I, V, L, F)KxE, where x represents any amino acid. SUMO conjugation is controlled by key enzymes, a SUMO activating enzyme, SAE1/2 and a SUMO conjugating enzyme, Ubc9, which is responsible for substrate recognition, and the efficiency of this pathway can be increased by one of many SUMO ligase enzymes. This modification alters the substrate's characteristics and results in a change of state, such as stability, localisation, or activity. p300, a transcriptional co-activator, contains an evolutionary conserved tandem SUMO modification motif, located in a transcriptional repression domain. p300 was efficiently conjugated, both in vitro and in vivo, by SUMO-1/2/3, within this repression domain to both SUMO conjugation motifs. The SUMO conjugation to p300 correlated with p300 ability to repress transcription, requiring both SUMO conjugation motifs for full transcription repression activity. This repression activity was mediated through SUMO recruitment of histone deacetylase 6. Repression could be alleviated through co-expression of a SUMO-specific protease thereby suggesting a potential regulatory mechanism for transcription control of SUMO modified substrates. Despite utilising the same conjugation machinery, there remained the potential for distinct roles for the SUMO isoforms. SUMO -2/3, which form a distinct group from SUMO-1, were shown to preferentially mediate the transcription repression abilities of a number of known SUMO modifiable substrates: p300, Elk-1, and SP3. Further differences were observed in the ability of SUMO-1 and SUMO-2/3 to influence the nuclear organisation of p80 coilin.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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