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Sumoylation in gene regulation, human disease, and therapeutic action

Xiang-Jiao Yang; Cheng-Ming Chiang

(Profiled Author: Cheng-Ming Chiang)

F1000Prime Reports. 2013;5.


Similar to ubiquitination, sumoylation covalently attaches a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) protein (92-97 amino acids) to the e-amino group of a lysine residue. This is quite different from the classically defined post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation, acetylation, and methylation, which typically add a small chemical group to the targeted residue. Sumoylation has been well studied at the molecular and cellular levels, focusing mostly on site-specific conjugation of human SUMO1, SUMO2, and SUMO3, as well as their homologues in various species. In this short review, we will discuss some recent examples to highlight (a) emerging trends about the coordinated regulation of sumoylation and other post-translational modifications in modulating the function of some transcription factors and pathway-specific regulators, (b) diverse roles of sumoylation in gene regulation implicated in stem cells and different pathogenic conditions, and (c) potential therapeutic strategies related to some of the diseases stated above. © 2013 Faculty of 1000 Ltd.

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