Research ArticleBiochemistry

System-Wide Changes to SUMO Modifications in Response to Heat Shock

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Science Signaling  26 May 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 72, pp. ra24
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000282

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SUMO Status Revealed

Posttranslational modification of proteins through their conjugation to small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins is important in the nucleus for the repair of damaged DNA and the maintenance of chromosome structure, as well as for a number of cytoplasmic processes. Although the machinery involved in attaching SUMO moieties to target proteins is well characterized, less is known about the upstream signals that trigger this modification. Golebiowski et al. designed a highly stringent, quantitative approach, involving protein purification and mass spectrometric techniques, to perform a system-wide analysis of the SUMOylation states of hundreds of proteins in HeLa cells in response to heat shock. The authors also analyzed the dynamic nature of SUMOylation in cells during the subsequent recovery phase. In addition to identifying many previously unknown substrates of SUMO-2, this proteome-wide analysis of SUMOylation revealed a rapid and dramatic redistribution of SUMO-2 among proteins involved in short- or long-term responses to heat stress. This new approach should also prove valuable in systems-wide analysis of other posttranslational modifications.

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