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Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Apr;17(4):1643-51. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

SUMOylation of the corepressor N-CoR modulates its capacity to repress transcription.

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  • 1Institute for Biomedical Research Georg-Speyer-Haus, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany.


In the absence of ligands the corepressor N-CoR mediates transcriptional repression by some nuclear hormone receptors. Several protein-protein interactions of N-CoR are known, of which mainly complex formation with histone deacetylases (HDACs) leads to the repression of target genes. On the other hand, the role of posttranslational modifications in corepressor function is not well established. Here, we show that N-CoR is modified by Sumo-1. We found SUMO-E2-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 and SUMO-E3 ligase Pias1 as novel N-CoR interaction partners. The SANT1 domain of N-CoR was found to mediate this interaction. We show that K152, K1117, and K1330 of N-CoR can be conjugated to SUMO and that mutation of all sites is necessary to fully block SUMOylation in vitro. Because these lysine residues are located within repression domains I and III, respectively, we investigated a possible correlation between the functions of the repression domains and SUMOylation. Coexpression of Ubc9 protein resulted in enhanced N-CoR-dependent transcriptional repression. Studies using SUMOylation-deficient N-CoR RDI mutants suggest that SUMO modification contributes to repression by N-CoR. Mutation of K152 to R in RD1, for example, not only significantly reduced repression of a reporter gene, but also abolished the effect of Ubc9 on transcriptional repression.

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